SolarCity Corp (SCTY) Downgraded By Some

SolarCity Corp (SCTY) Downgraded By Some
By BrokenSphere (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) tanked after last night’s installation miss, tumbling by more than 27% to as little as $18.45 per share during regular trading hours today, and as a result, it has earned downgrades from some firms, with perhaps the biggest being from Roth Capital. The solar panel installer also received a flood of price target cuts.

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Management guided for 180 megawatts to be installed in the current quarter. Losses came in at $2.37 per share, which was better than the consensus of $2.59 per share in losses, while revenues were $115 million, again ahead of consensus at $104.5 million. However, the miss on installation guidance, which certainly wasn’t the first time, dealt a huge blow to the solar panel installer. The firm installed 272 megawatts during the fourth quarter, missing the outlook of between 280 and 300 megawatts.

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However, not all analysts downgraded the stock, interestingly.

Big downgrade from Roth Capital

Roth Capital analyst Philip Shen was in the downgrade as he cut SolarCity’s rating from Buy to Neutral and slashed his price target more than in half from $65 to $19 per share. He noted that although the Street had reset its expectations going into last night’s earnings report, the company delivered weak results on the back of problems in Nevada and problems with some East Coast projects which caused them to take longer than expected.

Shen had been expecting the fourth quarter to be “healthy” and first quarter volumes of 215 megawatts or more. SolarCity is expected to be a key beneficiary of the extension of the Investment Tax Credit, but management’s guidance left much to be desired. The Roth analyst said the fourth quarter “was supposed to be the ‘kitchen sink’ quarter that resulted in lower expectations,” but just in the next quarter, the company delivered yet another miss.

He noted that sentiment is “clearly negative” and that he thinks SolarCity needs two things to fix the problems: gradual improvements in execution and “healthy and robust access” to capital and asset-backed securities.

Not all analysts downgraded SolarCity

SolarCity did receive several price target cuts, like that from Credit Suisse analyst Patrick Jobin, who cut his target from $124 to a still-bullish $89 per share. He called last night’s earnings report “negative, but house not on fire” and a “modest miss.” He’s not worried because the installation miss was “explainable” but “outside management’s control.” Also Stife analysts cut their target from $80 to $65.

Believe it or not, SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) was upgraded (yes, upgraded) from Outperform to Strong Buy, by Raymond James, but the firm’s analysts cut their price target from $75 to $60 per share, according to MarketWatch.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she 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. Email her at
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