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SolarCity Shares Jump Ship As Company Reports Higher Than Expected Net Loss

Elon Musk’s solar provider SolarCity saw its shares plummet this week, as the company reported a net loss higher than expected by investors.

In the company’s first quarter earnings report, published this week, SolarCity revealed it had lost $2.56 per share in the quarter, and was expecting to post similar losses in the second quarter. Together, the dismal first quarter and a dim view for the second quarter sent the shares tumbling.

SolarCity installed a total of 214 MW of new solar capacity in the first quarter, bringing the company’s cumulative total up to 2.2 GW. In its letter to shareholders, SolarCity praised its efforts, claiming: “We exceeded our MW Installed guidance by 19%, our revenue grew 82% year-over-year, we raised $728 million in Asset Financing in the Period, and we generated positive cash before the investment in the build-out of our module manufacturing operations. ”

The 214 MW installed for the quarter was up 40% over the same quarter a year earlier, and the company ended the quarter with a portfolio of 2 GW worth of solar Deployed under Energy Contracts. The first quarter, which the company was quick to point out “is typically the slowest time of the year for distributed solar installers” was nevertheless the company’s third highest quarter of installations.

SolarCity also “recalibrated” its guidance for the rest of 2016, “after taking into account the regulatory developments that impacted Q1 2016.” SolarCity is now expecting to install between 1 GW and 1.1 GW in 2016, as compared to its previously prescribed 1.25 GW. In the second quarter specifically, SolarCity is expecting to install 185 MW. Increased costs are partly to blame for the “recalibration,” but the company believes it will be able to bring its costs back down later this year.

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