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SolarCity Cuts Panel Installation Forecast; Shares Tumble

May 9, 2016, 10:23 PM UTC
A SolarCity Installation As Earnings Figures Are Released
A SolarCity Corp. employee installs a solar panel on the roof of a home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S solar-power provider by market value, is expected to announce quarterly earnings figures after the close of U.S. financial markets on May 7. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon — Bloomberg/Getty Images

SolarCity Corp cut its forecast for solar panel installations this year and reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, sending its shares down 15% in extended trading on Monday.

The company, which is backed by Tesla Motors Inc founder Elon Musk, said it expects to install 1.0-1.1 gigawatts in 2016, lower than the 1.25 gigawatts it had forecast in February.

“While the regulatory clarity provided by California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York put many of last quarter’s headwinds behind us, we do not expect to be able to make up for the decline in megawatts booked in Q1 2016,” the company said in a statement.

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Solar panel installments of 214 megawatts during the quarter, however, were higher than the company’s own expectations as it completed a project in Maryland ahead of time. The company had forecast installations of 180 megawatts in February.

SolarCity (SCTY) said net loss attributable to shareholders increased to $25 million, or 25 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $21.5 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total expenses jumped about 54% to $226.9 million.

Why is Wall Street Not in Love with Solar Energy?

On an adjusted basis, the company posted a loss of $2.56 per share, compared with a loss of $2.32 per share expected by analysts on average.

Revenue rose 81.6% to $122.6 million, above analysts’ average estimate of $109.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.