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Tesla posts massive $702 million loss last quarter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk20190425112938_l

San Francisco, April 25 (IANS) Tesla announced that it has lost $702 million in the last quarter, while the Elon Musk-owned electric car company’s revenue was also down 37 per cent compared to the previous quarter, the media reported.

In its announcement on Wednesday, the company said it expected its sales figures to look much better next quarter, adding that it encountered "many challenges" ramping up deliveries of the vehicles abroad, but confirmed those issues should be smoothed over soon and a major sales bump could be on the way, CNN reported.

Musk said during a conference call with investors on Wednesday that the last quarter may have been rough, but Tesla has a rosy outlook. Demand for all three of Tesla’s electric vehicle models is strong, he said.

"We also have a lot of markets (abroad) where we haven’t yet tapped into demand, especially the Model 3," the billionaire businessman said.

Tesla revealed earlier this month that it delivered about 63,000 vehicles to customers in the first three months of 2019 – a 31 per cent drop compared to the prior quarter, and the single largest decline Tesla has ever reported.

Slowing sales are bad news for Tesla because the company needs cash in order to pay down its sizable debts, according to analysts.

Tesla said it ended last quarter with $2.2 billion of cash on hand, which the company had earlier described as "sufficient".

Company stocks dipped slightly after earnings were released, but later edged back to even.

It had posted back-to-back profits in the previous two quarters. Last quarter, for example, Tesla recorded a profit of $139 million on sales of $7.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Musk has been in a standoff with the US Securities and Exchange Commission ever since he tweeted that he was "considering" taking the automotive company private last year, and that he had secured funding.

The SEC said funding has not been secured, and has accused Musk of misleading investors.