Elon Musk says Tesla will probably not be profitable in the first quarter of 2019 (TSLA)

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  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday that the automaker would likely not be profitable in the first quarter of this year.
  • Musk added that he expected Tesla to be profitable in the second quarter.
  • Musk's statement marks a reversal from his prior prediction that Tesla would be profitable in every quarter beginning in the third quarter of 2018.
  • During the automaker's fourth-quarter earnings call back in January, Musk had said he was "optimistic" that Tesla would earn a small profit during the first quarter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday that the automaker would likely not be profitable in the first quarter of this year.

Musk added that he expected Tesla to be profitable in the second quarter.

Musk's statement marks a reversal from his prior prediction that Tesla would be profitable in every quarter beginning in the third quarter of 2018. During the automaker's fourth-quarter earnings call, in January, Musk had said he was "optimistic" that Tesla would earn a small profit during the first quarter.

Musk had said on that January call: "I'm optimistic about being profitable in Q1. Not by a lot, but I'm optimistic about being profitable in Q1 and for all quarters going forward."

Read more: Tesla is shuttering most of its stores as the company switches to an online-only sales model

During the second half of 2018, Tesla posted the first consecutive quarterly profits in its history, though it failed to meet Wall Street's expectations for its fourth-quarter earnings.

The automaker posted adjusted earnings of $1.93 per share on $7.23 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter. Wall Street analysts had expected adjusted earnings of $2.10 per share on revenue of $7.1 billion.

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: Here are 4 people who could take Elon Musk's place if he were to step down

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