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Sunrun’s stock drops over 20% in IPO

August 5, 2015, 6:48 PM UTC
Drew Scott, Jonathan Scott
In this handout photograph provided by Sunrun, real estate experts Drew Scott, left, and Jonathan Scott, center, stars of the HGTV show The Property Brothers and solar enthusiasts, help install Sunrun solar panels, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, on their newly renovated "smart home" in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Harrington, Sunrun)
Photograph by John Harrington — AP

A cloud is hanging over solar installer Sunrun’s public debut on the NASDAQ on Wednesday. Throughout the day, Sunrun has seen its stock drop over 20% in trading.

As of 2:15 EST, Sunrun was trading at $11.18, which was 20.14% lower than its debut at $14 per share, the midpoint of its range. At $14 per share, the company was able to raise $251 million.

When companies hold an IPO, the bankers that are negotiating the pricing try to get the company the highest price possible that would also be able to deliver a pop in initial trading, not a decline. For example, when SolarCity (SCTY) held its IPO in early 2012, it priced its shares at $8 per share – far below its range of $13 to $15 per share — but its stock soared over 40% on the first day of trading.

Sunrun starts trading on the NASDAQ today under the symbol RUN.Courtesy of NASDAQ
Courtesy of NASDAQ

According to GTM Research, Sunrun was the fourth largest solar installer in the U.S. in 2014, behind SolarCity, Vivint Solar, and Sungevity. But Sunrun has a sizable financing business, and the company was the third largest solar financier in 2014, following SolarCity and Vivint Solar.

Sunrun has about 80,000 solar customers, and has financed around 430 megawatts worth of solar panels. That’s about half the size of a large natural gas plant.

The market to install solar panels on the rooftops of homes in the U.S. has become increasingly competitive and filled with consolidation. For example, SunEdison (SUNE) acquired Vivint Solar last month. SolarCity announced on Wednesday morning that it plans to acquire a Mexican solar installer called Ilioss.

But the market for solar is also booming. Last year about a third of all the new electricity generation that came online in the U.S. was from solar.

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