One of America’s leading solar developers, SolarCity, has seen its shares tank after a mixed third quarterly earnings report which saw record installations but failed earnings per share.
In its third quarter 2015 shareholder letter (PDF), the US solar giant reported that it had installed a record of 256 MW of distributed solar in the third quarter, bringing its cumulative total to 1.7 GW. Revenue was $113.9 million, up from analysts’ expectations of $111 million, increasing 95% year-over-year thanks to an increase in installations and high system performance. The company’s gross margin was 22%.
Subsequently, SolarCity’s shares have tanked in after-hours trading, and as of writing, shares were down 18.10%.
Guidance for Q4’2014 wasn’t crash hot either, with installations expected to only reach 280 to 300 MW in the fourth quarter, below the low end of the company’s previous annual guidance. This would push its full-year installations to between 878 and 898 MW. Fourth quarter GAAP revenue guidance is expected to fall between $100 million and $108 million, up 48% year-over-year, “though representing the typical seasonal quarter-over-quarter decline as we head into the fall months.” This is made up of between $70 million and $76 million for operating lease and solar energy systems incentive revenue, and between $30 and $32 million for solar energy system and component sale revenue.
SolarCity was quick to praise its quarterly efforts regardless of the earnings per share loss, starting off its shareholder letter with news of “two major milestones” — the launch of the company’s international expansion into Mexico, and becoming the first solar company to reach 1 GW in annualized distributed solar installations in the US, “and likely the world.”