Tesla posts 2Q loss, prepares Nevada factory site

AP Auto Writer

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors widened its losses in the second quarter as it prepared for the launch of a new SUV and the construction of a massive new battery plant.

Tesla said it started preparing a site for the factory outside Reno, Nevada, last month. But the company said it’s still considering sites in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, and won’t make a final decision for several months.

The Palo Alto, California-based company reported a loss of $61.9 million, or 50 cents per share, compared with a loss of $30.5 million, or 26 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Tesla said it spent more on engineering for its Model X SUV, which is scheduled to go into production early next year. Tesla is building a new final assembly line and making other adjustments so it can build both its Model S sedan and the Model X at the same Fremont, California, factory.

There has been fierce competition among states for the $5 billion battery plant, which Tesla says will employ as many as 6,500 workers by 2020. It’s building the plant to supply its lower-priced third generation car, the Model 3, which is scheduled to go on sale in 2017.

Earlier Thursday, Tesla and its battery supplier, Panasonic Corp., announced that they will collaborate on the battery factory. Tesla will build the facility and Panasonic will make the batteries. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The company delivered 7,579 Model S sedans in the second quarter, which was slightly more than its guidance of 7,500. It said it’s on track to deliver 35,000 cars this year.

Earnings, adjusted for stock option expenses and lease accounting, came to 11 cents per share. That was 7 cents higher than Wall Street expected, according to analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

The company said revenue nearly doubled to $769.3 million from $405.1 million in the same quarter a year earlier. But it missed Wall Street’s forecast of $801.9 million.

Tesla’s shares fell 30 cents to $223 in after-hours trading. The stock has risen $87.75, or 65 percent, in the last 12 months.

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