The Tesla Motors Model X sport utility vehicle
Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Reuters
February 10, 2016

(Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc forecast deliveries of Model S sedans and Model X SUVs that topped analysts’ estimates and said it expects to turn in a profit in 2016, sending its shares nearly 11% higher in after-hours trading.

The electric car maker has long enjoyed the status of Silicon Valley darling for its brash innovation in electric cars.

Its technological prowess – such as adding features through over-the-air software upgrades – and bold design have been a thorn in the side of Detroit’s traditional automakers, who are only now beginning to fight back.

Tesla said it planned to deliver 80,000-90,000 Model S and Model X vehicles of in 2016, ahead of Wall Street’s average expectation for about 79,000 vehicles, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

The loss-making company also said it planned to achieve profitability on an adjusted basis and also to be net cash flow positive for the full year 2016.

Elon Musk-led Tesla said its long-promised moderately priced car, the Model 3, would be unveiled on March 31.

Tesla’s net loss, however, nearly tripled to $320.4 million, or $2.44 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $107.6 million, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total operating costs rose 42% to $478.9 million in the quarter.

On an adjusted basis, Tesla reported a loss of 87 cents per share.

Revenue rose nearly 27% to a record $1.21 billion on higher sales of the Model S and demand for the Model X, which launched in September.

Tesla’s shares rose $15.41 to $159.08 in after hours on Wednesday.

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