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July 24, 2019 5:45 PM, EDT

Tesla Plunges on Quarterly Loss, Backtracks From Profit Forecast

Tesla Angel Garcia/Bloomberg News

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Tesla Inc. shares plummeted in late trading after the electric-car maker posted a worse-than-expected loss and backtracked from a forecast for a return to profit.

The maker of the Model 3 sedan reported an adjusted loss of $1.12 a share for the three months ended in June, missing analysts’ average estimate for a 31-cent deficit. Tesla said that while it’s still aiming for positive third-quarter earnings, it’s going to focus on delivering more cars, expanding capacity and generating cash.

Tesla’s stock plunged as much as 12% to $233 in after-hours trading. The shares were already down 20% for the year through close of business July 24.

The results underscore CEO Elon Musk’s struggle to prove that building and selling electric cars can be a sustainably profitable business. While Tesla eked out profits in the second half of last year, deliveries have been turbulent in 2019. The billionaire co-founder has made a series of sudden and surprising strategic decisions, from briefly planning to close almost all Tesla stores to frequently changing prices.