News

Tesla Motors beat analysts’ estimates Tuesday for its third-quarter earnings, saying that it is beating production targets. It also announced it has hired a former Google executive as its new chief financial officer.

Its losses, however, continue. The electric-car maker reported losing 58 cents a share on an adjusted basis, or $75 million, in the quarter, compared with a consensus of analysts tracked by S&P Capital IQ of 60 cents. On an unadjusted basis, Tesla lost $1.78 a share, or $230 million, for the quarter, compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Those estimates, however, varied, and by some other estimates, it missed.

The new CFO will be Jason Wheeler, who was Google’s vice president of finance.

On sales, however, Tesla says the news was hopeful. Tesla says sales of its only sedan, the Model S luxury car, were up globally by 50%, with the pace fastest in the U.S., where low gas prices have been hindering car sales.

Investors liked what they heard, driving the stock higher in after-hours trading. Tesla shares were up 9.5% to $228.21.

The company announced a new sales chief. Jon O’Neill, former CEO to a tech provider to the insurance industry, Enservio, as the new president of global sales.

The company also expressed hope about an increase in sales in China, where it says orders were up “substantially” in the third quarter, compared with the second quarter.

Tesla says it made 13,091 cars during the quarter and delivered 11,603 to new customers after ramping up production at its factory. CEO Elon Musk says Tesla will be making “several hundred” of Tesla’s new Model X, a crossover, a week.

Tesla says it has started shifting production of products to the giant battery “Gigafactory” it is building outside Reno. Cell production will begin there late next year, ahead of schedule. It says the stationary powerpack production is headed there from its auto plant in Fremont, Calif.

“This positions us for strong growth in 2016, but the Gigafactory pull-ahead will push some Tesla Energy (fourth quarter) production and
deliveries” into next year’s first quarter, the company said in its letter to investors.