Tesla is predicted by analysts to turn a profit in the fourth quarter of 2018. The average estimate is a profit of $206 million on a GAAP basis. In April, analysts expected a fourth-quarter loss of about $234 million. The change in expectations for Tesla’s 2019 free cash flow are even more stark, flipping to about $837 million from negative $795 million as of early May.
By the end of September, Tesla increased its cash on hand by a third to $2.98 billion. That’s enough, Musk says, for Tesla to continue funding growth while covering debt obligations—all without selling more stock or new bonds.
Tesla now dominates the global market for electric cars. Tesla sold 19 percent of the world’s electric cars in the first 9 months of 2018.
Elon Musk said in mid-2018 that Tesla batteries cost $110 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and would reach $100 per kWh by the end of 2018. The average electric car industry price for batteries is about $127 per kWh.