SolarCity released its latest earnings report after closing bell tonight, posting losses of $2.27 per share on $201 million in revenue, marking a 76% year over year improvement which beat management’s guidance. Analysts had been expecting adjusted losses of $2.29 per share and $170.64 million in sales. SolarCity had guided for non-GAAP losses of $2.55 to $2.65 per share. In last year’s third quarter, the company reported $113.9 million in revenue.
SolarCity swings to GAAP profit
GAAP profits amounted to $53 million, while GAAP earnings per share were 48 cents, compared to last year’s GAAP losses of 20 cents per share. Periodic operating lease billings and incentives rose to $96.8 million from $63.2 million last year. Cost per watt fell 5% from the previous quarter to $2.89, while installation cost per watt improved to $2.02 even though volumes fell.
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The company installed 187 megawatts and deployed 189 megawatts, including 12 megawatts of solar loans and 10 megawatts of system sales. Residential installations amounted to 147 megawatts, while commercial and industrial installations made up 40 megawatts.
SolarCity – Tesla merger in focus
Investors are still hyper-focused on the pending acquisition by Tesla, as the shareholder vote on the topic is set for Nov. 11. The all-stock deal is worth $2.6 billion, and critics have termed it as nothing but a bailout for SolarCity. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is also SolarCity’s chairman, emphasizes that it will be a good thing for both companies.
He envisions cross-selling opportunities and changes to the way SolarCity does business. In the recent presentation the companies gave to support the merger, SolarCity said it is shifting its product mix. The company said that the percentage of bookings that were cash or loan sales in September reached 30%, compared to less than 10% in the first quarter.
SolarCity expects to install about 900 megawatts’ worth of systems in the full year but isn’t providing GAAP guidance for the fourth quarter based on the proposed acquisition by Tesla.
SolarCity shares tumbled during regular hours today as investors speculated that Donald Trump’s election will be bad for the solar business.