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Tesla falls short on Model S deliveries as Elon Musk battles Mother Nature

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As the company reports poor earnings, its CEO appears distracted

Tesla just announced that it shipped a total of 9,834 Model S vehicles in the fourth quarter, falling short of the 11,000 figure the company was aiming for. In November, Tesla said it would miss its original goal of hitting 35,000 Model S deliveries for calendar year 2014, revising the figure to 33,000. Tesla didn't announce a definitive 2014 deliveries figure with today's earnings, but has obviously fallen short of the adjusted marker.

As evidence of the volatile business Tesla is in, the company said over 1,000 shipments slipped back into 2015 because of "a combination of customers being on vacation, severe winter weather and shipping problems (with actual ships)." All told, the automaker's stock had a rough quarter, posting a loss of 13 cents per share versus the 32 cent profit that Wall Street was expecting. In slightly better news, Tesla says the Model X SUV is on track to begin shipping in six months, with "Release Candidate" models of the car expected in March.

But even as one of his central business interests posted a disappointing financial quarter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was instead fixated on SpaceX's battle with Mother Nature. Musk hasn't yet tweeted about Tesla, but will shift his focus to the electric vehicle company during an investor call later this evening. That call was pushed back to afford Musk more time for his SpaceX duties. Silicon Valley figure may be finding it hard to juggle his responsibilities; anyone in Musk's position likely would.