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Tesla net loss widens on higher costs

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Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA-Q) Tuesday reported a wider quarterly net loss as higher research and development expenses offset a 95-percent surge in revenue.

The company's net loss was $51.4 million US, or 54 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a net loss of $24.2 million US, or $3.43 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Last year's figures were based on a smaller number of shares outstanding. Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, went public in June.

Revenue for the quarter rose 95 percent to $36.3 million from $18.6 million a year ago.

Tesla said in a statement that it was on schedule to deliver its Model S passenger sedan in the middle of 2012. Tesla has not produced a profit, and doing so hinges on the success of vehicles like the Model S.

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