UPDATE: Telsa Motors Inc. shares ended Thursday up 4.04 percent to $280.02 after the company reported second-quarter sales numbers that were in line with expectations. 

Original story begins here: 

Tesla Motors Inc. announced early Thursday it sold 11,507 Model S luxury electric cars in the April-June period. The sales data, released at the end of each quarter, was welcomed by Wall Street as investors pushed the company's stock price up 2.3 percent to $275.34 in morning trading. 

"This was a new company record for the most cars delivered in a quarter and represents an approximate 52% increase over Q2 last year," the company said in a regulatory filing. The Palo Alto, California, electric car maker has delivered 21,537 cars in the first half of the year, putting it less than halfway toward its goal of delivering 55,000 units in 2015.

Meeting sales targets is crucial to the company’s ambitious growth projections, because shareholders are more concerned about the company's sales and profit-margin improvements than its profitability, which isn’t likely for years to come.

Tesla said in an April 3 regulatory filing it delivered 10,030 Model S sedans to customers in the first three months of the year. The second-quarter number announced Thursday is higher than the first, which suggests demand for the Model S continues to grow months ahead of the scheduled introduction of the Model X SUV, which is expected to give a boost to sales before the end of the year.

The company will need to sell more cars in the second half of the year – about 33,000 units -- to meet its goal, which depends on when customers who have preordered the Model X begin receiving their cars. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he expects a small number of Model X deliveries to begin in September, with a considerable ramp-up in the last three months of the year. Any delay to the Model X could cause Tesla to miss its sales goal.

Tesla delivered 31,655 cars last year and wants to grow that to 500,000 cars annually, with the help of the Model X luxury electric SUV due out later this year. It's an ambitious growth projection that's never been accomplished in the automotive industry. Most of that sales volume would come from the $35,000 Model 3 electric sedan that customers should begin receiving in early 2018 if all goes as currently planned.

In April, Morgan Stanley autos analyst Adam Jonas, who is bullish on Tesla, said he expected the company to fall short of its 55,000-unit sales target if company management decides the Model X isn’t ready to be released to the public.

This year, Telsa Motors began reporting sales number at the end of each quarter instead of in the quarterly reports that come out weeks later. The company’s second-quarter earnings release date has not been announced. Tesla reported its second-quarter 2014 earnings on Aug. 8.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Tesla to report wider losses of $130 million in the quarter ended June 30, from $61.9 million in the same quarter last year. Per-share losses are expected to widen to 90 cents from 50 cents. Revenue is seen growing to $1.15 billion from $857.5 million. Estimates are subject to change before the earnings are released.