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Tesla Losses Rise Even As Revenues Grow

Electric car maker's fourth-quarter net loss doubled to $51.4 million from a year earlier as research and development costs for its new sedan ate into higher revenue.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) -- Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter net loss doubled to $51.4 million from a year earlier as research and development costs for its new sedan ate into much higher revenue.

Tesla said it lost $24.2 million a year earlier. Its loss per share of 54 cents compares with a loss of $3.43 per share a year ago, when it had less than one-tenth as many shares outstanding.

Revenue almost doubled to $36.3 million from $18.6 million a year earlier.

Tesla currently makes just one car, the $101,500 Roadster sports car. The Palo Alto-based company delivered its 1,500th Roadster during the fourth quarter.

Tesla's research and development costs jumped to $37.6 million for the quarter, from $8 million a year earlier, as it completed the first drivable Model S test vehicle. The Model S, a lower-priced alternative to the Roadster, is scheduled to go on sale in the middle of next year.

The company also is developing battery systems for Daimler AG's Smart fortwo electric car and Toyota Motor Corp.'s electric RAV4.

Tesla's net loss for the full year more than doubled to $154.3 million. Its revenue rose 5 percent to $116.7 million.

Research and development costs jumped to $93 million from $19 million in 2009.

Tesla shares rose 2 cents after hours. They ended regular trading at $22.84, down 24 cents.
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