Tesla's Q4 2012 earnings: $90 million net loss, but forecasts a profit for Q1 2013

If you're one Elon Musk, you're probably ready for just about anything to take the place of the only story dominating the Tesla tagline for the past few weeks. Of course, a $90 million net loss isn't the ideal story to overtake the Model S kerfuffle, but hey -- at least the company's aiming to pull in a profit next quarter. In a bid to keep investors focused on the positive, the automaker's Q4 2012 shareholder letter notes that Tesla is officially predicting its first quarterly profit in Q1 2013, sliding up from "late 2013."

For the quarter that just wrapped, the firm saw revenues of $306 million (a 500 percent increase sequentially from the $50.1 million seen in Q3 2012), and it ended the year with $221 million in total cash after having made the first quarterly principal payment of $12.7 million to repay the loan to the U.S. Department of Energy. Tesla also plans to deliver some 20,000 Model S vehicles in 2013, with around 4,500 of those happening in Q1. Europeans and Asians can expect their deliveries in "summer" / "late this year" (respectively), with the first Model X deliveries to occur in early 2014. Musk also told investors that it plans to "spend significantly less on capital expenditures" in 2013 compared to 2012, helping to (hopefully) generate "slightly positive net income on a non-GAAP basis" in Q1 2013.