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Vivint Solar’s Turbulent Road Continues With Lackluster Q4’16

It has been a near-perpetual rocky road for US solar energy developer Vivint Solar, and its latest twists and turns are not looking great for the company as it reported a lackluster fourth quarter and full-year for 2016.

It has been a near-perpetual rocky road for US solar energy developer Vivint Solar, and its latest twists and turns are not looking great for the company as it reported a lackluster fourth quarter and full-year for 2016.

Vivint Solar’s recent history has been littered with ups and downs, but this week it could only report another ‘down’ with the publication of its fourth quarter 2016 and fiscal 2016 financial results. Vivint Solar booked approximately 57 megawatts (MW) of new solar projects in the fourth quarter, and installed approximately 47 MW. This is down on the 59 MW booked in the third quarter, and the 74 MW booked in the second quarter, and down still on the 59 MW installed in the third quarter and 61 MW installed in the second quarter.

The cost-per-watt for fourth quarter installations was $3.08, an increase from the third quarter, but unsurprisingly down on the fourth quarter of 2015.

The company’s cumulative installed capacity sits at 681 MW, up approximately 222 MW in 2016, a growth down 3% on 2015’s installation figures.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, Vivint Solar’s financials were similarly lackluster for both the fourth quarter and full-year 2016. Operating leases and incentives revenue for the fourth quarter was $25.3 million, up 63% on the fourth quarter of 2015, but down 38% on the third quarter. The loss from operations in the fourth quarter stood at $38.1 million, compared to $55.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $33.3 million in the third quarter of 2016.

For the full-year 2016, operating leases and revenue was $105.4 million, up 72% on 2015’s totals — testament to a strong start to 2016.

Looking forward, Vivint Solar forecast an estimated 43 to 46 MWs installed during the first quarter of 2017, with a cost per watt of between $2.95 and $3.05. For the full-year 2017, the company is forecasting total MW installed between 210 and 230 MW, a surprisingly lackluster prediction, but maybe one more within the realm of possibility.

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