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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA): Should You Buy Now?

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It’s (apparently) not an April Fools’ joke: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced on Monday morning that it was raising its first-quarter guidance to “full profitability”, thanks to better-than-expected sales of its electric Model S sedan.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares took off on the news, flying up over 20% by mid-day Monday as excited investors rushed in.

Is it really time to get on the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) bandwagon?

Better sales mean a solid profit, Tesla says
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Monday morning press release said that the company had exceeded the sales projection it made when it released fourth-quarter earnings in mid-February. That’s when CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) expected to deliver 4,500 cars during the first quarter of 2013, and that it expected to report a slight, possibly non-GAAP, quarterly profit.

Courtesy: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

That’s the prediction that Tesla is now revising upward. In Monday’s release, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) said that its deliveries in the first quarter had exceeded 4,750 – enough that the company is now confident that it will report a righteous GAAP-compliant profit.

But is a profit enough to warrant an investment in Tesla?

This Fool remains skeptical of Tesla
I follow auto stocks for a living, and let’s just say that I’m not rushing in yet. To be clear, I’m a big fan of Tesla’s cars, and I think the company has done a great job of executing on its ambitious business plan so far. There have been bumps on the road, but still: For the most part, high praise is due all around.

But I’m not a fan of its sky-high, priced-for-unrealistic-perfection stock.

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