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Tesla's losses expected to grow on Model 3 delays

| Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, 1:27 p.m.
Delays in meeting production targets for its first mass-market car, the Model 3 sedan, Tesla is expected to lose $3.15 per share for the fourth quarter.
Christophe Ena/AP
Delays in meeting production targets for its first mass-market car, the Model 3 sedan, Tesla is expected to lose $3.15 per share for the fourth quarter.

The day after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk blasted his Tesla Roadster into space, his electric car company's mounting losses are set to bring him back to Earth again.

Tesla Inc. is expected to lose $3.15 per share for the fourth quarter, according to analysts polled by FactSet. The Palo Alto, California-based automaker is struggling to meet production targets for its first mass-market car, the Model 3 sedan. It's also spending heavily on future vehicles, including a semi that's supposed to go into production next year.

Tesla is expected to lose $8.90 per share for the full year. The company has never made a full-year profit since it went public in 2010.

Tesla reports its earnings later Wednesday.

Musk is a masterful marketer, and the red ink may not stem investors' excitement. The company's shares jumped 3 percent to $342.55 in early afternoon trading after SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday with Musk's cherry red Roadster as its cargo. The convertible, with a dummy in a space suit at its wheel, is now heading toward an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Tesla's shares are also in the stratosphere, up 8 percent from the start of this year.

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