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Tesla swings to loss in 4Q after profitable third quarter

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., talks about the Model X car at the company's headquarters, in Fremont, Calif., in 2015. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Unable to string together profitable quarters, electric car and solar cell maker Tesla Inc. is reporting a loss for the last three months of 2016.

Tesla reported a loss of $121.3 million, or 78 cents per share, for its fourth quarter. It was less than half the $320.4 million loss from a year earlier.

Without one-time items Tesla lost 69 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted a loss of 53 cents per share.

Revenue rose 88 percent to $2.28 billion, beating estimates of $2.22 billion.

Tesla posted its first profit in three years in last year's third quarter and predicted net income in the fourth quarter.

The company said Wednesday that it expects to start making its $35,000 Model 3 in July, with higher-volume production by September.

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