The leading US solar developer SolarCity posted better-than-expected third quarter financial results, posting a markedly improved revenue and smaller losses than analysts had predicted. However, it is the upcoming vote to accept a merger with Tesla that is drawing most of the focus.
SolarCity posted revenue of $201 million, a 76% year-over-year increase, beating management guidelines and analyst expectations. The company reported a net loss of $225.3 million, or $2.27 per share, less than the predicted $2.29 analysts had been expecting.
The company installed 187 MW worth of solar panels in the third quarter, “significantly exceeding” the company’s guidance of 170 MW. This is good on the surface, but must be taken in context with the rest of the year. SolarCity started the year by predicting it would install 1.25 GW during 2016, and 180 MW in the first quarter. The company again underestimated its installations, installing instead 214 MW and predicting 185 MW for the second quarter, while revising its full year installations down to around 1 GW. In the second quarter SolarCity installed 201 MW and predicted 170 MW for the third quarter, and have subsequently downgraded its full-year installation target down to approximately 900 MW, which means it is anticipating installing around 300 MW in the fourth and final quarter of the year.
Specifics for the fourth quarter are sparse, due to the possibility of an acquisition by Tesla. SolarCity reports that it is heading into a possible merger with a strengthening cash balance, year-to-date revenue up 79%, and gross profit up 91% over the same time a year earlier.
Shareholders from both companies will vote on November 17 as to whether to proceed with the acquisition or not.