Tesla stock falls after company misses third-quarter delivery expectations

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Tesla Inc. said late Wednesday it had delivered about 97,000 vehicles in the third quarter, including 79,600 Model 3 sedans.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the Silicon Valley car maker to sell about 99,000 vehicles, including 80,200 Model 3s, Tesla’s TSLA, -0.64%  mass-market vehicle. Tesla delivered 84,000 vehicles in the third quarter of 2018, including about 56,000 Model 3s.

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The company said it achieved “record” net orders in the third quarter, and is seeing an increase in its order backlog in the current quarter.

Nearly all of its Model 3 orders came from people who did not hold a reservation, “solidifying the transition to generating strong organic demand,” Tesla said. “We are continuing to focus on increasing production to meet that demand,” it said.

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The delivery number should be viewed as “slightly conservative” as the company only counts a vehicle as sold after all paperwork has gone through, it said. Unlike some competitors, Tesla reports delivery, its proxy for sales, and production numbers quarterly, and doesn’t break it down by region or other variable.

Earlier Wednesday, General Motors Co. GM, -3.96%  reported third-quarter sales that rose 6.3% compared with the third quarter of 2018.

Tesla shares have lost 27% this year, contrasting with gains around 15% for the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.79%