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Li Auto Reports Surprise Quarterly Profit on Record Deliveries

Li Auto reported a fourth quarter profit after deliveries jumped 67% year over year.
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Shares of Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto  (LI) - Get Li Auto Report rose Thursday after the company reported net income for the first time.

Before Thursday's open, the Beijing company reported a fiscal fourth quarter profit of 107.5 million yuan ($16.7 million), or 2 cents per share, versus a loss of 107 million yuan ($16.5 million) in the third quarter. Revenue jumped 65% to 4.15 billion yuan ($640 million).

Analysts were expecting a net loss of 125 million yuan ($19.4 million), or 4 cents per share, on revenue of $565.5 million. 

The company delivered 14,464 vehicles in the fourth quarter, a 67% year-over-year increase that was a record for the company. Deliveries for the full year reached 32,624 vehicles for one of China's largest domestic competitors to market share leader Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report

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"Li ONE became the best-selling new energy SUV of the year in China. This outstanding performance was fueled by strong demand driven by our distinctive product offering and superior user experience, and made possible by our focused product strategy and our ability to rapidly scale up a consistent and high-quality manufacturing process," said founder and CEO Xiang Li.

Li Auto shares were down 4.4% to $27.42 in early morning trading Thursday. 

Li Auto sells one model, the Li One, which is an "extended range" sports-utility vehicle that powers the car with both an electric motor and a gasoline internal combustion engine. 

Earlier this month, Li announced that January deliveries more than quadrupled year-over-year to 5,379 vehicles. But that total was lower than the 6,126 vehicles the company delivered in December. 

Li Auto has 60 retail stores covering 47 cities, as well as 121 servicing centers.