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Tesla Posts Net Profit For Fifth Straight Quarter

FILE - This March 18, 2020 photo shows a Tesla charging station for automobiles in Port Huron, Mich.  Tesla charged through a summertime auto industry sales slump in the U.S. to post stronger-than-expected net earnings for the third quarter. The electric car and solar panel maker says Wednesday, Oct. 21,  that it made $874 million, or 27 cents per share, for its fifth-straight profitable quarter.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

FILE - This March 18, 2020 photo shows a Tesla charging station for automobiles in Port Huron, Mich. Tesla charged through a summertime auto industry sales slump in the U.S. to post stronger-than-expected net earnings for the third quarter. The electric car and solar panel maker says Wednesday, Oct. 21, that it made $874 million, or 27 cents per share, for its fifth-straight profitable quarter.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Tesla charged through a summertime auto industry sales slump in the U.S. to post strongerthanexpected net earnings for the third quarter.

DETROIT: Tesla charged through a summertime auto industry sales slump in the U.S. to post stronger-than-expected net earnings for the third quarter.

The electric car and solar panel maker says Wednesday that it made $331 million, or 27 cents per share, for its fifth-straight profitable quarter.

Excluding special items such as stock-based compensation, Tesla made 76 cents per share, beating Wall Street estimates of 57 cents. Revenue from July through September was $8.77 billion, also passing analysts’ expectations of $6.3 billion, according to FactSet.

But as in previous quarters, the company may have lost money if it weren’t for $397 million it earned from selling electric vehicle credits to other automakers so they can meet government fuel economy and pollution regulations.

The earnings were driven by a 44% increase in global deliveries for the quarter, which came as U.S. auto sales overall fell 9.7% from a year ago due to consumer fears about the economy hit hard by the pandemic.

Shares of the Palo Alto, California, company rose just under 1% in extended trading Wednesday when its results were released after the markets closed. They are worth about five times what they were at the start the year, accounting for a split.

The third-quarter profit was more than double the same period a year ago, when Tesla made $143 million. Its string of profitable quarters reversed years of losses. Through the first nine months of this year, Tesla has made $451 million and appears headed toward its first annual profit.

On Oct. 2, Tesla reported that it had delivered 139,000 SUVs and sedans from July through September, compared with 97,000 deliveries during the same period a year ago. Analysts said China, where the economy is recovering, was a major source of sales for Tesla.

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