Tesla posts small 4Q profit; tougher times ahead

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla eked out a small fourth-quarter profit to close 2018, but a debt payment and slowing demand for pricier versions of its vehicles will make it hard to stay in the black.

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla posted net income of $139.48 million, or 78 cents per share, from October through December. It posted two straight quarterly net profits for the first time since going public in 2010.

Excluding one-time items, Tesla made $2 per share, falling short of Wall Street expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $2.20.

For the full year, the company lost $976.09 million, or $5.72 per share. Without one-time items, the loss was $1.33 per share, better than estimates of $1.24.

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