Tesla Inc. (TSLA - Get Report) CEO Elon Musk told shareholders Tuesday at the company's annual meeting that there's a "decent shot of a record quarter," for the electric vehicle maker, but he appeared to back away from previously expressed hopes for sustained profitability.
Musk said the Model 3 has been outselling all competitors and generating the highest revenue of any car model sold in the U.S.
Shares of the company have had a rough few months given controversies involving Musk and the SEC, as well as growing doubts over the company's ability to reach sustainable profitability.
The stock has fallen by more than a third so far this year, ending Tuesday at $217.10 a share, up 2% for the day. In after-hours trade, shares leaped as much as 5.5%.
In response to shareholder questions, Musk said "profitability is always challenging if you're a fast growing company." He added that "We can be cash-flow positive despite being a fast growing company."
When Tesla next reports results for the current quarter, it is expected to report a loss of $94.9 million, or 57 cents a share, on sales of $6.5 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 26 analysts.
Robin Denholm, who became chair of Tesla's board of directors in December, took the opportunity to thank shareholders at the meeting: "When you're changing the world, you need a certain amount of intestinal fortitude," Denholm said.
Musk was forced to relinquish the chairman's role as part of a settlement with the SEC over a tweet last fall that falsely claimed he had the financing to take the company private at $420 a share.