Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. forecast profit and sales below Wall Street estimates, and reported third-quarter deliveries of its Model S that disappointed some analysts.
Tesla's shares dropped 12 percent to $155.39 in after-the-bell trade following the results. There had been a nearly five-fold surge in Tesla's shares this year that had boosted its value above that of Italian automaker and Chrysler Group LLC parent, Fiat.
The company, run by Chief Executive Elon Musk, posted an adjusted profit of 12 cents per share, beating the average analyst per-share forecast of 11 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue of $603 million also beat estimates.
But Tesla said its fourth-quarter profit would be "about consistent" the third quarter, implying results would fall short of the 20 cents per share expected by analysts.
Tesla delivered more than 5,500 Model S vehicles during the third quarter and forecast deliveries of slightly less than 6,000 cars in the fourth quarter. Both figures were less than what some analysts had expected.
"Results with somewhat slower ramp of Tesla S deliveries reinforce our view that Tesla (stock) had overshot in the past few months and is more properly valued at $141," Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson said in a research note.
The Model S starts at $70,000 before a federal tax credit, although additional features and an option to buy a powerful battery can push the price to more than $100,000.
Tesla is preparing to introduce its Model X crossover in late 2014 and a lower-cost electric car within the next four years.
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