Tesla loses $50 million in 1Q as costs rise

DETROIT – Electric car maker Tesla Motors lost $49.8 million in the first quarter as it accelerated the development of its new crossover. Tesla’s loss of 40 cents per share compared with a profit of 10 cents per share in the January-March period last year. Last year’s first-quarter profit was the decade-old company’s first ever profitable quarter.

Revenue grew 10 percent to $620.5 million in the latest quarter. Tesla said it produced a record 7,535 Model S sedans during the period and delivered 6,457 to customers.

Still, the results fell far short of Wall Street’s estimates. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast a profit of 8 cents per share on revenue of $683.5 million. Tesla’s shares fell 8 percent to $185.51 in after-hours trading.

R&D costs jumped 49 percent to $81.5 million as Tesla prepares to launch the Model X crossover next year and adapts the Model S for a growing number of international markets.