SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) had a rough day on the market today and 2014 as a whole hasn't been great, but operationally the company continues to meet or exceed the expectations it sets each quarter. For the first quarter of 2014, that means hitting the high end of expectations with 82 MW of solar deployed and booking 136 MW of new projects in the quarter. The company reported Q1 results this afternoon.  

Revenue more than doubled to $63.5 million in the quarter on the back of $34.5 million in solar system sales. But operating costs increased even faster than revenue and drove a net loss of $24.1 million for shareholders, or $0.26 per share.

Retained value, which is an estimate of the total cash flows of leases over more than 20 years, increased $239 million to $1.29 billion. One important note is that system sales of $34.5 million were much higher than the $23 million to $27 million range given in guidance and indicates that SolarCity is seeing far more customers choose to buy systems instead of leasing them, which is where the highest margin is.

For 2014, management increased its installation guidance to 500-550 MW, up 25 MW from its previous estimate and another sign that customers are buying into SolarCity's value proposition. Next year, management expects to install a whopping 900 MW to 1 GW.

The guidance for 2015 is incredibly aggressive but SolarCity has proven the ability to hit high targets. In the face of stiffening competition, SolarCity is still performing extremely well in the residential solar market.


Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends SolarCity. The Motley Fool owns shares of SolarCity. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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