Tesla, buoyed by strong Model 3 orders, may need more cash

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BY TENZIN PEMA AND PAUL LIENERT

An initial flurry of orders has put Tesla Motors’ new Model 3 sedan off to a fast start, but the company may need to raise more cash if it hopes to deliver the new electric vehicle to customers on time, analysts said on Friday.
Tesla’s stock price bounced around $237 in afternoon trading after opening at nearly $248, the highest mark in six months. Up to Thursday’s close, Tesla stock had soared 60 percent since hitting a 12-month low in February.
Chief Executive Elon Musk’s ambitious plans include launching the Model 3, Tesla’s first mass-market car, in late 2017 and boosting the company’s annual production tenfold to 500,000 by 2020.
But there are concerns among some investors in Tesla, which has promised to turn profitable this year, even after the hoopla and exuberance surrounding the unveiling late on Thursday of a Model 3 prototype.
On Friday, Musk said the company had taken orders for 198,000 Model 3s in the first 24 hours. Analysts questioned how long it could take to deliver those cars after the slower-than-expected launch of the company’s Model X sport utility vehicle late last year.
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