Vivint Solar Reports Lackluster Shipments But Its Revenue Increased By 60%

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Vivint Solar, one of the United States’ leading residential solar installers, announced its Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 financial results this week, and though the company missed the low end of its shipping guidance, it nevertheless fulfilled its goals of increased revenue.

If we were to look at Vivint Solar’s shipments in megawatts (MW) throughout 2017, we might imagine that the company had a relatively quiet, even disappointing year. Across the four quarters of 2017, Vivint Solar reported installations of 46 MW, 47 MW, 47 MW, and 45 MW. However, the company’s goals this year focused on increasing its profits rather than increasing its market share, and as a result, Vivint Solar had a rather successful 2017, as highlighted by the Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 financial results published this week.

Vivint Solar announced that it had booked approximately 55 MW of solar for the fourth quarter and deployed only 45 MW — missing even the low end of its previous guidance. This nevertheless brought the company’s cumulative installed MWs up to approximately 865 MW across 126,830 separate installations. Cost per Watt was $2.95, an increase from $2.94 in the third quarter but well down on the $3.08 reported in the fourth quarter of 2016.

More importantly — at least from Vivint Solar’s point of view, and that of its investors — was its total revenue for the fourth quarter, which increased by 60% year-over-year to reach $66.8 million, and second highest for the year after the $73 million taken in during the second quarter. For the Full Year 2017, total revenue hit $268 million, up an impressive 98% year-over-year.

Speaking to investors in its earnings call, Vivint Solar CEO David Bywater said “that as we exit 2017 and begin 2018 the overall business principles of Vivint Solar remain the same. We’re focused on generating stronger unit economics, creating more efficient operations, delivering a better customer experience at every juncture, driving innovation and generating attractive investor returns.

“We believe that by adhering to these guiding principles, we will have the most sustainable and well run residential solar company in the industry.”

And it seems that investors were pleased with Vivint Solar’s performance, as the company’s share price increased by 6% on the back of the news.

Looking forward, Vivint Solar is looking to install 40 MW in the first quarter of 2018 at a Cost per Watt of between $3.15 and $3.20. Chief Financial Officer Dana Russel was cautious in the earnings call, explaining that the company is not making any long-term forecasts until it sees how things pan out in the first quarter. The increase in Cost per Watt is due primarily to lower volume due to a company-specific transitional period.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

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