Tesla reported its fourth straight profitable quarter Wednesday afternoon, sending its already surging stock 5% higher.Tesla (TSLA) reported a net income of $104 million and operating income of $327 million despite closing its Fremont, California, manufacturing plant for nearly half of the quarter. The continued profits make Tesla eligible to be added to the S&P 500 (SPX). Tesla’s stock price has more than tripled this year, making it the most valuable automaker in the world. Tesla’s deliveries of vehicles dropped 5% in the quarter, when compared to last year, but far less than the dips of 30% or more that other automakers have reported. Tesla’s operating margin the last 12 months reached nearly 5%, a figure Tesla said it expects to continue to grow.CEO Elon Musk also announced on an earnings call with investors that Tesla would build its next Gigafactory outside Austin, Texas. The facility will be used to build Tesla’s Cybertruck, Semi, as well as the Model 3 and Y for the Eastern part of the US. Austin was selected over Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Musk said the facility would be built on the Colorado River and have a boardwalk with a hiking and biking trail that would be open to the public. “it’s going to basically be an ecological paradise,” Musk said.Musk also remained confident in Tesla’s autonomous driving software, and said it expected its “full self-driving” technology would be complete by year’s end. Musk has previously predicted that the company’s vehicles would be capable of autonomous driving by the end of 2019.”It’s almost getting to the point where I can go from my house to work with no interventions,” Musk said.