SolarCity Corp (SCTY) Tanks After Missing Installation Target

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SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) released its fourth quarter earnings results after closing bell tonight, posting adjusted losses of $2.37 per share and revenue of $115 million, compared to the consensus estimates of $2.58 per share in losses and revenue of $104.5 million. Despite the beats, however, the solar panel installer’s stock fell in after-hours trades as investors punished the company for missing management’s guide for installations.

SolarCity misses 4Q installation guide

Operating Lease and Solar Energy Incentive Revenue climbed 53% to $75 million, while Solar Energy Systems Sale revenue climbed 77% to $40 million.

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) installed 272 megawatts during the fourth quarter, which came up short of the guide for between 280 and 300 megawatts because management had included 15 megawatts’ worth of projects that weren’t finished by the end of the year. The company cited terrain challenges in three ground-mount projects on the East Coast for the shortfall. Management expects to finish the projects during the first quarter.

Cost per watt reached a new low of $2.71 during the fourth quarter, while asset financing of $2.40 per watt covered 66% of the upfront value of deployed megawatts, said management.

SolarCity releases guidance

Management emphasized that they aren’t happy with the company’s results, particularly because they came up short of their installation targets multiple times. As a result, they plan to change up their guidance methodology. They added that residential continues to outperform their expectations while commercial has continued to underperform. From now on, they intend to exclude all large projects with deadlines “late in the quarter. Management is also focusing first on cash generation and then on growth as the secondary focus.

SolarCity’s guidance for this year remains installed gigawatts of 1.25 and positive cash generation by the fourth quarter. For the first quarter, management expects to install 180 megawatts of projects. SolarCity projects non-GAAP losses of between $2.55 and $2.65 per share for the quarter, compared to the consensus of $2.36 per share in losses and $113 million in revenue.

Shares of SolarCity took a dive in after-hours trades, falling by nearly 25% to as low as $19.68.

SolarCity sued for allegedly deceptive marketing practices

Earlier today, the Las Vegas Sun reported that a Nevada couple has sued SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) for allegedly not disclosing details about future energy rates before installing solar panels on their home. The case was filed last month and accuses the company of negligence, deceptive marketing, breach of contract, and fraud.

The couple who filed the suit signed a contract for SolarCity to install solar panels on their home in August just two months after lawmakers told Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission to set new rates which could raise the price of rooftop solar panel systems. The lawsuit accuses the company of not informing them of how the pending ruling might change the costs associated with adopting rooftop solar power. Further, it states that it was SolarCity’s duty to tell future customers that their bills might change after lawmakers allowed the regulator to change rates in June. The case seeks class-action status.

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