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Teslas 4Q profit falls on strong dollar, delayed shipments
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FREMONT (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors’ fourth-quarter loss widened to $107.6 million because of the impact of the strong dollar and a delay in shipments of its new all-wheel-drive Model S sedan.

In a letter to shareholders, Tesla said it held back shipments of its new all-wheel-drive Model S sedan — which was launched in November — to make sure it would meet customers’ expectations. While it was able to make up production later in the quarter, it was unable to ship around 1,400 vehicles in December.

Deliveries to customers in the fourth quarter totaled 9,834, up from 6,892 a year ago.

The strong dollar also had a negative impact, while the company’s research and development costs also doubled in the fourth quarter and for all of 2014 as it prepares to launch the Model X SUV later this year.

Tesla said it expects to deliver 55,000 vehicles in 2015, up from 31,655 in 2014.

Capital spending and operating expenses will also increase this year, however, as it continues building a massive battery factory in Nevada and expanding its network of Superchargers, which can charge a Model S battery in minutes.

The quarterly loss, of 86 cents per share, compared to a loss of $16.3 million, or 13 cents per share, in the October-December period a year ago.

Tesla says unadjusted figures do not reflect its true performance because accounting rules limit how it records revenue for leases. On an adjusted basis, the company lost 13 cents per share in the fourth quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted a profit of 30 cents per share.

Fourth quarter revenue rose 55 percent to $956.6 million. Adjusted revenue of $1.1 billion missed analysts’ forecast of $1.23 billion.

Shares slid 4 percent to $204.50 in after-hours trading.

For the full year, Tesla lost $294 million, while revenue jumped 60 percent to $3.19 billion. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which was founded in 2003, has never made a full-year profit. CEO Elon Musk said last month that Tesla may not show an unadjusted profit until 2020, when it is selling an estimated 500,000 cars per year.

Tesla currently makes one car, the Model S sedan, which starts at $71,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Model X is scheduled to go on sale this fall, while the Model 3, a $35,000 car, is expected to go on sale in 2017.