Tesla Was Cash Flow Positive Last Week, CEO Musk Says

Tesla Motors Inc., the maker of electric vehicles led by billionaire Elon Musk, was cash flow positive last week, the chief executive officer said yesterday in a posting on Twitter.

“Am happy to report that Tesla was narrowly cash flow positive last week,” Musk, 41, wrote in the message to his almost 113,000 followers. “Continued improvement expected through year end.” Musk’s message, which was re-posted more than 600 times by Twitter users, provided no additional information.

Tesla, which hasn’t turned a quarterly profit, is racing to expand production of the rechargeable Model S sedan at its factory in Fremont, California. The base price of the car will increase by $2,500 to $59,900 on Jan. 1, the Palo Alto, California-based company said last week in a statement.

“Tesla continues to make marked progress in ramping its production capabilities,” Amir Rozwadowski, a New York-based analyst with Barclays Plc, wrote today in a report. “Tesla’s ability to achieve consistent cash flow generation would be viewed as a critical milestone” and help the company go from “an upstart innovator to a sustainable operating entity,” said Rozwadowski, who rates the shares overweight.

The Model S last month was named 2013 “Car of the Year” by Motor Trend magazine, the first time the award has gone to an electric vehicle. Tesla has said it will build at least 20,000 of the cars at the Fremont plant next year, and add the Model X electric sport-utility vehicle in 2014.

The Model S, which qualifies for a $7,500 tax credit, travels between 160 miles (257 kilometers) and 300 miles solely on electricity, depending on the size of battery pack purchased.

Tesla dropped 2.1 percent to $33.90 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 19 percent this year.

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