Tesla reported a surprise third-quarter profit on Wednesday, slightly outperforming Wall Street expectations.
Here are the key figures:
- Adjusted earnings: $ 2.90 per share compared to – $ 0.15 expected.
- Sales: $ 6.8 billion, compared to $ 6.3 billion expected.
"The third quarter of 2018 was a truly historic quarter for Tesla," the company said in a press release. "The Model 3 was the best-selling car in the US in terms of sales, and the fifth best-selling car in terms of volume."
Free cash flow for the quarter was $ 881
Tesla said it produced an average of 4,300 models 3 per week during the quarter – still below its current target of 5,000 per week – and is speeding up plans to manufacture sedans in China "to significantly increase affordability". These vehicles will only be for Chinese customers, it said.  The high selling price of the Model 3 helped to boost Tesla's gross margin from over 20% in the previous quarter to more than 25%, but the tariffs from President Donald Trump's ongoing trade war could somewhat limit Tesla's margins.
"Gross margins for Model S and X will decline slightly in the fourth quarter, as we expect the sequential increase in Q4 duties from components of Chinese origin to be only partially offset by higher manufacturing cost efficiencies," said Tesla. "For all three vehicles, additional tariffs for spare parts from China in the fourth quarter will negatively impact our gross profit by about $ 50 million."
Tesla shares rose by up to 10% in post-trading after-hour trading.