SolarCity Corp (SCTY) Posts Better-Than-Expected Results

SolarcityBy BrokenSphere (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) shares went down as much as 1.5% on the heels of this evening’s twice-delayed earnings report. The company continued to post losses, but those losses were not as bad as analysts had been expecting. SolarCity reported non-GAAP losses of 46 cents a share on revenue of $37.45 million—which was a huge miss, but Wall Street seems happy for now.

Analysts had been expecting the company to report losses of 55 cents per share on revenue of $45.27 million. SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) already pre-reported some its results last month, so tonight’s earnings report wasn’t a total shock.

SolarCity updates megawatt deployment

The company’s megawatt deployment rose 78% year over year to 280 megawatts, while its operating lease revenue grew 80% for the full year. SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) also reported that it continued to improve its capital efficiency and economics by materially reducing operating expenses and capital expenditures per megawatt deployed. SolarCity generated positive net cash flow during the fourth quarter and nearly achieved break-even net cash flow for the full year. The company still expects positive net cash flow for this year.

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) also reported that it signed its 100,000 customer this month. It expects residential megawatts booked to pass 100 megawatts in the current quarter. SolarCity continues to expect to hit its previously announced target of between 475 and 525 megawatts deployed this year.

Breaking down SolarCity’s results

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) said its operating lease and solar energy systems incentives revenue was $22.4 million in the fourth quarter, a 79% increase from the same quarter a year ago. The company cited a “higher base of operating lease MW deployed” as the reason. Total fourth quarter revenue rose 99% year over year.

Gross margins for SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY)’s operating lease and solar energy systems incentives were 48%. Excluding the introduction of a new operation and maintenance department which wasn’t incorporated into guidance, margins were 55%, which was in line with their expectations. Consolidated gross profit margin was 21% because of a higher mix of lower margin solar energy systems.

SolarCity updates guidance

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) also provided guidance for 2014. The company still expects to deploy between 78 and 82 megawatts during the current quarter, which is a 74% increase at the midpoint. The company also expects revenue of between $27 million and $29 million for its GAAP operating lease and solar energy systems incentive. It projects revenue of between $23 million and $27 million for its GAAP solar energy systems sale revenue. SolarCity expects GAAP operating lease and solar energy systems incentive gross margins to be between 40% and 50% and non-GAAP earnings per share to be between a loss of 70 cents and 80 cents a share.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at

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