SolarCity shares crash after grim quarterly report and outlook

Shares of SolarCity nose-dived on Tuesday after disclosing earnings results that cast gloom over the provider of solar systems.

San Mateo-based SolarCity shares lost about one-fifth of their value due to the grim report for its first quarter that ended in March. Tuesday marked the first full day of trading after the financial results were released.

The big problems for the solar company: The quarterly report disclosed a loss that was bigger than expected, and management followed that up with a dismal outlook for future results.

“Bookings came in a lot lower than expected,” Lyndon Rive, chief executive officer and co-founder of SolarCity, told analysts during a conference call to discuss the financial results. “We had a bunch of headwinds that hit us all at the same time.”

The obstacles included regulatory challenges that stymied bookings and increased prices that stifled sales.

SolarCity lost $2.56 per share for the first quarter, which was far worse than forecasts from Wall Street for a loss of $2.32 a share. The per-share results and expectations both were adjusted to exclude one-time items that won’t recur and aren’t based on operations.

The renewable energy company did beat expectations about revenues. SolarCity generated $122.6 million in revenue, ahead of the prediction of $110 million.

SolarCity tumbled 20.8 percent, or $4.69 a share, and closed at $17.82.

Matters weren’t helped when the green energy company offered guidance for a second-quarter loss that would range from $2.70 to $2.80 a share. Wall Street was expecting a loss of roughly $2.13.

Analysts also were dismayed because the solar firm trimmed its estimate for installations of solar systems during 2016 to a range between 1,000 megawatts and 1,100 megawatts.

Previously, the company had guessed installations would be around 1,250 megawatts this year.

So far in 2016, SolarCity shares have plummeted 65 percent.

Company executives believe the regulatory obstacles and challenges in procuring customers should begin to recede for the company, leaving more upside in future quarters.

“There is growing demand by customers who want to own their solar equipment, so we think our solar loan product will have an impact, we’re entering into the summer and then we’re also going to be expanding into new states, “Those are areas that will help us with additional bookings,” Rive said.


BANG staff photo: SolarCity solar system installation 

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    will the tax payers have to bail him out??wait for it

    • alex

      bail them out – unlikely, but taxpayers already support solar business via 30% solar tax credit…Many of Musk enterprises, including Tesla, benefit from taxpayers and Government regulations.

  • Bill Belcher

    47700 Kato Road is a deathknell to businesses. It’s fact. It should be demolished and a park placed there because businesses get swallowed up as soon as they sign the lease. Good riddance!