(Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) reported its first quarterly net profit in more than three years on Wednesday, buoyed by nearly $139 million in sales of clean car credits, and Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company could turn a profit again in the fourth quarter.
The electric carmaker also signaled it has substantially reduced the costs for launching production of its high volume Model 3 sedan next year. Musk told analysts the company's current plan "does not require any capital raise for the Model 3 at all."
The tech billionaire said Tesla could still raise capital to "account for uncertainty ... and de-risk the business," however.
The third quarter profit and a leaner capital spending plan could help grease the wheels for Musk if he does seek to tap the markets for cash. Turning a profit, even for one quarter, should help counter skeptics who have questioned his ambitious plans for combining Tesla and solar panel maker SolarCity (SCTY.O) into a company offering roof-to-garage no-carbon energy systems.
Musk has made promises to investors before related to the timing of product launches, production and profitability, only to walk them back.
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