Better-than-Expected Sales and Boosted Outlook? Tesla (TSLA) Isn't Done Yet...

April 1, 2013 9:45 AM EDT
Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA) is popping higher in early trading Monday following an announcement ahead of the bell of better-than-expected Model S sales.

According to the release, "vehicle deliveries (sales) exceeded 4,750 units vs. the 4,500 unit prior outlook. The company also expects "full profitability, both GAAP and non-GAAP" for first-quarter 2013 results.

Prior to today's announcement, analysts on the Street were modeling an adjusted loss of 7 cents per share on Tesla for the latest quarter.

Not many people were expecting this announcement, including speculative traders. The latest market data has about 32.3 million Tesla shares being held short, equal to about 50 percent of float.

Bloomberg reported that an executive from Tesla reached-out to potential customers who were on the fence about moving forward with a Model S purchase. The email requested that a deposit and DocuSign papers be turned in before the end of the quarter to help the company report a profitable three month period. Though it isn't uncommon for auto companies to try and "pull forward" some orders, the direct contact that Tesla used in this case is what made it a unique situation.

Those short-interest bears will question whether the method will come at the cost of future backlogs and sales.

Also, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last week on Twitter that he would be putting his "money where his mouth is." A separate announcement is expected out tomorrow, after being delayed last week due to the holiday and end of quarter bookkeeping.

Shares are up about 14 percent.

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