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Tesla suffers record fourth quarter loss

By Ray Downs
Tesla suffers record fourth quarter loss
Tesla's all-electric Model 3 was unveiled on March 31, 2016. After suffering a record fourth quarter loss in 2017, the company hopes increased production of its Model 3 will bring improved numbers. File Photo by EPA/Tesla

Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Tesla, Inc. suffered its biggest quarterly loss in company history, according to numbers released Wednesday.

The company posted losses of $675.4 million on revenue of $3.29 billion, according to a letter to investors.

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"This was yet another awful quarter from Tesla," Mark B. Spiegel, an analyst at Stanphyl Capital, told the Los Angeles Times. "Tesla lost more money this quarter than any time in its history."

But revenue also increase by $1 billion, from $2.284 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $3.288 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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The company expects revenue to be even higher in 2018 as it rolls out its highly anticipated Model 3.

"At some point in 2018, we expect to begin generating positive quarterly operating income on a sustained basis," the company said. "With the planned ramp of both Model 3 and our energy storage products, our rate of revenue growth this year is poised to significantly exceed last year's growth rate. The launch of Model 3 is what Tesla had been building towards from day one."

The news of Tesla's disappointing fourth quarter comes on the same day the company launched its Roadster model into space via CEO Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

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In a conference call with analysts, Musk was questioned about whether the company can meet Model 3 production goals and the automobile and space travel entrepreneur expressed little doubt.

"If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production. It's just a matter of time," he said.

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