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Tesla Says It Turned Profitable as Model S Sales Beat Forecast

Tesla Motors Inc., the electric carmaker headed by billionaire Elon Musk, said it turned profitable in the first quarter, citing higher-than-estimated sales of its Model S sedan.

Tesla reached “full profitability” as Model S sales were more than 250 units higher than the 4,500 that the company estimated in mid-February, the automaker said in a statement yesterday, without specifying the profit figure. The average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg calls for a loss of 11 cents a share, excluding some items.

The revised estimates are separate from the “really exciting” announcement that Chief Executive Officer Musk alluded to in a Twitter post last week, Tesla said. That disclosure will be made tomorrow, according to the Palo Alto, California-based company.

Tesla has forecast deliveries of the battery-powered Model S will rise to a record 20,000 in 2013.

Tesla fell 27 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $37.89 at the close in New York trading on March 28. The stock has gained 12 percent this year.

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