By Len Ramirez

PALO ALTO (KPIX 5 — Tesla posted an unexpected profit, surprising Wall Street and thrilling investors and its customer base. Shares jumped over 17% on Thursday, a day after the earnings report.

“I stand behind Tesla, I think it’s great. I love my vehicle the performance. I think it is profitable,” said Karen Moreno of Sacramento.

“What they’ve managed to do is get their costs under control and make a tiny, tiny little profit,” said Robert Chapman Wood a Professor Strategic Management at San Jose State’s Lucas College of Business.

Professor Wood is following Tesla’s ups and downs as part of a long term research project.

“It looks now like they’ve got a pathway to become a big successful car company but it’s looked like that before.”

Chapman says it’s still an open question whether the positive third quarter results mean long-term financial stability for the company.

But Tesla also announced its China factory is ahead of schedule. Deliveries are up as well.

Its new pickup truck is showing a surge in interest. And upgrades to its existing technology are coming along, like the so-called full auto mode, which promises to take drivers from their home to office without them having to touch the wheel.

“Tesla has no competition in this market, no one’s close,” said Michael Hingle of San Jose, who owns two Teslas and likes what he sees in the long road ahead.

“I’ve got two Teslas, there might be a third. I want to take a look at the pickup, we might have four Teslas in a couple of years,” he said.

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