Tesla Motors (TSLA) shares are sharply higher this morning after the electric car maker said it expects to report a profit on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis for its first quarter following better-than-expected sales of its Model S vehicle. WHAT'S NEW: Tesla said Model S sales exceeded 4,750 units in the three months ended March, which beat its prior unit outlook of 4,500. The company also amended its first quarter guidance to "full profitability," while the consensus forecast is for a loss per share of 7c. On February 20, the car maker said it expected its Q1 non-GAAP net income to be "slightly positive" and said it would be "near breakeven" on cash flow from operations in the quarter. Tesla also announced today that the small battery option for the Model S would not enter production due to lack of demand; the company noted that only 4% of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors, analyst firm Pacific Crest said much of Tesla's earnings upside was from a one-time reversal of warrant liability renegotiated from the Department of Energy loan, which was not mentioned in the company's press release. The firm added that it believes that today's strength in Tesla's shares is overdone. TODAY'S PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, the stock rose $8.21, or 21.67%, to $46.10.
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