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Payoff of government startup funding is five years ahead of schedule

If the half-billion dollar boondoggle that was Solyndra is an example of the worst case scenario of the U.S. government playing venture capitalist, electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) may be the best case.  The automaker this week asked for -- and got -- permission to repay its $465M USD in government loans five years ahead of schedule.

The old agreement would have the Palo Alto-based company repaying its low-interest debt by late 2022, the new deal will have repayment finished by mid-2017.  Despite the recent spat with The New York Times, which devolved into an onerous he-said-she-said, Tesla's flagship Model S remains a hot seller.

With most reviews positive and with numerous awards in the bag, Tesla is once more profitable.  The mid-range luxury priced Model S is the key to that.  Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks says that the automaker will ship a record 20,000 Model S vehicles this year.

But if there was a cloud to be found in the silver lining, it's with Tesla’s crossover EV, the Model X. Tesla had hoped to begin production of the vehicle this year, but difficulties have forced to it shelve those plans until late 2014.  That means deliveries -- previously planned for 2014 -- will likely be pushed back till 2015.

A Model X prototype
A Tesla Model X prototype [Source: Valentin Flauraud / Bloomberg]
 
Another potential worry turned out to be a non-concern.  Tesla had delayed its annual 10K filing, raising fears that it was having some sort of undisclosed financial problems. Instead, explains Jefferies LLC, in a note to investors, "According to the company, the filing was delayed due to a last-minute change in the auditors' policies for classifying cash flows, and was not due to any errors on [Tesla's] part."

In other words, don't fret about the 10K.

Source: The LA Times





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