Tesla Earnings to Follow Layoffs and Price Cuts

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Shares of Tesla fell 2% in after-hours trading.

The California-based company, founded by Elon Musk, reported a profit of $139 million in the fourth quarter, as the business managed to achieve another period of positive cashflow of $910 million, up from $881 million in the previous quarter.

Tesla also delivered its second consecutive quarterly profit, even if the final figure was slightly below market expectations.

Tesla said it ended the quarter with $4.3 billion in cash and said it could pay a $920 million convertible bond maturing in March.

"This is a strong indication that demand in the USA for both the mid-range and long-range Model 3 versions has largely been exhausted, and the company is still working through the estimated ~6.8k of unsold Model 3 inventory", Cowen analysts said.

"We believe fourth-quarter results and the 2019 outlook give something for bulls and bears to exercise their imaginations".

The company said it would "continue to produce Model 3 vehicles at maximum production rates throughout 2019".

Tesla shares sank the first trading session of 2019 after the company said it was cutting its prices across vehicles by $2,000 in the U.S. The move was meant to help absorb the reduction in the federal electric vehicle tax credit, which halved to $3,750 from $7,500 as of January 1.

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Chief Executive Elon Musk touted strong demand for the Model 3, as the company begins to ship the vehicle to Europe and Asia from its Fremont, California factory.

It forecast strong growth, as Model 3 vehicle sales start in Europe and China.

The departure of Deepak Ahuja as well as missing Wall Street profit targets for the end of 2018, sent Tesla shares down almost 6 percent after hours.

Tesla's total revenue rose 5.9 percent to $7.23 billion, beating the analyst average estimate of $7.08 billion.

Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk expects to reach an annual production rate of half a million for the Model 3 version of the company's electric vehicle range later this year, and predicts that the upcoming all-electric SUV, the Model Y, could be twice as popular as its current best-selling electric sedan.

"This year should be a truly exciting one for Tesla", the firm said in a letter to investors.

Musk announced a 7 percent workforce reduction earlier this month, saying it was crucial to cut costs to roll out a lower-priced, yet still profitable, Model 3.