Speeding along as Elon Musk’s once-decried projects beat expectations

Tesla Inc. stayed on a roll by reporting better-than-expected revenue and the accelerated arrival of its next electric vehicle, sending the stock soaring after hours.
The Model 3 maker’s US$7.38 billion in sales for the fourth quarter beat estimates and carried the company to its second consecutive quarterly profit. That sets a pattern, with first-half losses in each of the past two years giving way to positive results.
Tesla shares climbed as much as 7.4 per cent to US$624.20 after the close of regular trading. The stock was already up 39 per cent this year.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk triggered an epic rally three months ago by claiming Tesla will be able to achieve industry-leading profitability by cutting costs and improving execution. He bolstered his case by opening a new China car plant in record time and accelerating the launch of the Model Y, which he’s predicted will become the company’s new bestseller. The crossover will start deliveries by the end of March, faster than the company said previously.
Musk has thus far disproved predictions that Tesla will struggle to compete with the impending arrival of electric vehicles from established automakers. The Model 3 was the only EV bought in significant volumes last year in the U.S., and it vaulted toward the mainstream in Europe, ranking as the third-best seller among all models in December.