SolarCity Corp Q1 Earnings Preview

SolarCity Corp Q1 Earnings Preview
By BrokenSphere (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Residential solar installer SolarCity is scheduled to release its fiscal first quarter results on Tuesday, May 05 after the bell. Wall Street expects the company to witness a decline in revenue and a higher loss per share. SolarCity had warned during the fourth-quarter conference call that growing seasonality in its residential deployments would affect revenues in the March quarter.

SolarCity expects significant rise in operating expenses

Snow on rooftops in some states is causing delays in installations. Analysts on average expect the San Mateo-based company to post $1.58 a share in Q1 loss, up from the loss of $0.82 per share in the corresponding quarter last year. Its revenue is expected to decline 9% YoY to $57.7 million.

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SolarCity has guided its Q1 revenue between $53 million and $60 million. The company forecasts the Q1 loss of $1.65-$1.75 per share. SolarCity had stated that its operating expenses would go up from $134.9 million in Q4, 2014 to $148-$156 million in the March quarter. SolarCity was looking to deploy 145MW of panels in January-March period.

Baird Equity Research analysts said in a research note Monday that the company is likely to have surpassed its deployment target of 145 megawatts because of favorable weather in many states, including California. However, Baird analysts Ben Kallo and Tyler Frank slashed their price target from $76 to $65, and downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral.

SolarCity’s current quarter revenue expected to jump 58%

For the current quarter, analysts expect SolarCity to generate $96.8 million in revenue, up 58% from the same quarter last year. Second quarter losses are expected to come in at $1.48 per share. SolarCity, which ended 2014 with 190,000 customers, aims to have one million customers by the end of 2018. The company expects to deploy 920MW to 1,000MW of solar in FY2015.

Separately, SolarCity announced that it has closed a financing aggregation facility worth $500 million with Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The financing facility will help the company install panels to more rooftops. The company is also offering Tesla’s newly announced battery to create solar backup systems.

SolarCity shares fell 0.15% to $60.95 in pre-market trading Tuesday.

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