Tesla Stock Soars On Surprise Operating Profit Results

Tesla Motors stock soared in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the electric car maker posted a surprising Q2 profit. Shares for the TSLA stock jumped by 13 percent to $151.19 in trading.

The auto maker is led by CEO Elon Musk and reported a net income of $26.3 million, excluding one-time items, that blew expectations out of the water.

The company expected to post a loss of $18.9 million, reports USA Today. But the massive gains come after it posted its first profit ever in the previous quarter.

The second-straight profiting quarter could show critics of the electric car company that Q1 wasn't a fluke. Several skeptics of Tesla Motors believed the business would never be profitable.

A profit for Q2 also shows that serial entrepreneur Musk has a handle on the auto industry -- at least when it comes to his electric cars. Musk is also the founder and chairman of SolarCity and the CEO of SpaceX.

But Musk certainly has the auto industry's attention with his focus on on-board computing in the Tesla electric cars, along with advances in battery technologies.

Reuters notes that Tesla has also ramped up production of the Model S sedan. The vehicle is America's best-selling electric car, despite its hefty price of more than $70,000. The company announced that it has sold 10,500 Model S sedans in the first six months of 2013.

As it expands to Asia and Europe, it expects to reach an annual rate of 40,000 by the end of 2014. Tesla was founded with the help of a massive government loan -- a bone of contention for several critics, including Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. But Tesla was able to raise more than $1 billion in equity and debt in May to pay off the $440 million loan balance.

The company then closed out the quarter with $746 million in cash. Tesla expects its gross margin to be 25 percent higher by the end of 2013. Along with the Model S, the company will begin selling the Model X, a companion crossover model, late next year. Following that, the company's Gen 3 car is due for production in 2016.

That Gen 3 will hit Tesla's goal as its "high-volume affordable car," according to Musk. It will be priced around $35,000 before federal or state tax credits are applied.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]