By Cassandra Sweet

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Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors Inc. said it earned $11.2 million in the first quarter of 2013 as deliveries of Model S electric vehicles lifted the maker of luxury electric cars to its first quarterly profit.

The company—which had reported a loss in every quarter since it went public in 2010—said Wednesday it recognized revenue from 4,900 Model S vehicles in the first period, up from the company’s previous outlook for 4,500 cars in the quarter.

Revenue totaled $562 million, up from $30.2 million a year ago. On a per-share basis, earnings were zero. Tesla posted a net loss of $89.9 million a year earlier.

Shares of Tesla jumped 18% to $65.76 in after-hours trading Wednesday.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company is trying to become the first successful automotive startup in the U.S. since the 1920s. As recently as six months ago, the company was forced to sell shares to raise cash and avert a liquidity crisis. Also, Tesla had struggled with delayed deliveries from suppliers that slowed production.

Tesla said its production of Model S vehicles was 400 or more per week, for a total of more than 5,000 vehicles during the first quarter. The company has said it needs to produce at a rate of 20,000 vehicles a year to be profitable.

The company said it is receiving orders for more than 20,000 vehicles a year world-wide, and plans to build about 5,000 Model S vehicles in the second quarter. Tesla plans to deliver about 4,500 vehicles in the second quarter and deliver about 21,000 vehicles during 2013.

Of those cars, Tesla is likely to deliver about 15,000 vehicles to customers in North America, 5,000 to Europe and about 1,000 to Asia, Tesla Chairman and Chief Executive Elon Musk said. He added that the company plans to ramp up production after it resolves manufacturing-efficiency issues.

Read more in The Wall Street Journal.

By Cassandra Sweet