Tesla Inc reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, as strong sales of its electric vehicles fattened margins and delivered US$1 billion in net income, a milestone for the 18-year-old company.

Profit more than tripled to US$1.45 a share on an adjusted basis, swelling as vehicles sales rebounded from pandemic shutdowns last year, the Palo Alto, California-based automaker said Monday. That beat the 97 US cents average of analysts’ estimates and marked the eighth straight quarter of profit for Tesla.

Rising sales of the mass-market Y and Model 3 sedan delivered a fourfold increase in operating income, even as Tesla grappled with chip shortages and port congestion, and slogged through a costly ramp up of new S and X models. The company widened its margins from core auto operations to 25.8%, from 22% in the prior quarter and 18.7% a year earlier.

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