SolarCity had an awful first quarter, and it is high time that it wakes up and faces reality, said CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
Speaking on the show Squawk on the Street, Cramer said, “This is a company that I regard in a first-class crisis that acts as if everything is fine. You know I’m an aficionado of conference calls. You may have found the bottom. Yes, [this is] the worst conference call of 2016.”
CEO says all is well, but that’s not the case
Cramer said the company is in a phase in which the CEO says bookings are great, but they came in a lot lower than expectations “so they’re not as great as we thought.” The solar company reported a larger-than-expected loss, as a consequence of which its shares took a massive plunge the next day.
SolarCity reported that it incurred an adjusted first quarter loss of $2.56 per share, while analysts expected a loss of $2.32 per share. The solar firm expects losses that are worse than what analysts were previously projecting and sales in the range of $135 million to $143 million for the second quarter, versus the consensus of $151 million.
R.W. Baird analysts slashed their price target on the stock from $47 to $37, saying they wanted to get more constructive on the stock, but they think the company’s management has ruined its capability for now. However, the analyst believes the “Musk/Reeve relationship” should attract long-term growth investors.
Also SolarCity was downgraded to Neutral from Buy by Merrill Lynch and from Outperform to Market Perform by Avondale Partners.
Some still bullish on SolarCity
Despite reporting disappointing weak first-quarter results, SolarCity stock surged by over 10% on Wednesday afternoon. The reason for this is some analysts are still bullish on the solar firm. Deutsche Bank reiterated its Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $49, saying “at current valuations, assuming relatively conservative installation forecasts, the shares are discounting no value for the devco,”
Similarly, Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating on the stock but revised its price target to $38 from $62. Each quarter, SolarCity seems to face the operational, competitive, regulatory or capital challenges of proving the merits of their business model all over again, the research firm said. In addition, it has to go through the painful process of transitioning its strategy more towards value than growth to significant ownership rotation, said Credit Suisse.
At 10 a.m. Eastern, SolarCity shares were up 2.89% at $19.23. Year to date, the stock is down almost 62%, while in the last year, it is down by over 68%.