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Tesla 3Q production numbers up but can they be sustained?

Elon Musk

Shares last Thursday had finished at $307.52, before the SEC unveiled its enforcement action over Musk's August 7 tweet stating he'd lined up funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share.

Some highlights: The company said it delivered more than 55,000 Model 3 sedans during the quarter, a 10th of those in the last week of the quarter.

The company said it made 53,239 Model 3 vehicles, in line with its outlook for 50,000 to 55,000, and almost double the number produced in the second quarter. Still, he said problems such as a shortage of vehicle carriers will be easier to solve than the manufacturing woes that plagued the company after Model 3 output began previous year.

Tesla was lately up 17 percent at $309.71, more than recouping losses that came as shares last Friday ended 14 percent lower.

Tesla was sorely in need of good news. It indicates that the company still hasn't approached, at any sustained level over a longer time, chief executive Elon Musk's goal of producing 5,000 of the cars per week. Musk and Tesla will each pay $20 million to resolve the case. The SEC wanted to oust Musk as CEO as punishment. Tesla also made 26,903 of its higher-priced vehicles, the Model S and Model X. The manufacturer plans combined Model S and Model X deliveries of 100,000 for the full year.

"We are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong, but, to be certain, we must execute really well tomorrow (Sunday)", Musk wrote in an email on September 30, according to a filing with the SEC.

Analysts hoped the deal, which enforces oversight of Musk's public communications, would put an end to several months of turmoil that has prevented investors from focusing on a business that churned out a reported 80,000 cars in the third quarter. Although it successfully reached its production goals for the third quarter, getting those vehicles into the hands of consumers has proven to be a headache.

Shares of Tesla rallied as much as 18 percent Monday as investors welcomed news over the weekend that Elon Musk would continue running the show as the electric-car maker readies to release quarterly production and delivery numbers.

Tesla shares fell more than 1 percent in recent trading Tuesday. My vehicle is one of these. We're making rapid progress.