Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Did Vivint Solar Stock Drop 6%?

By Rich Smith – Apr 30, 2019 at 1:43PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

You might want to ask Elon Musk.

What happened

Shares of solar-panel installer Vivint Solar (VSLR) are down 6.1% as of 1:10 p.m. EDT -- and no one seems to know why. Although this is earnings season, Vivint hasn't reported any new earnings since March, and isn't expected to do so again until next month.

There've been no analyst downgrades, nor even any changes in price target on Wall Street. Really, there's only one thing that seems to have changed -- and it's not Vivint.

Man installing solar panels

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

This morning various outlets began reporting on a shift in pricing strategy at Tesla (TSLA -6.32%) -- which (as you may know) produces not just electric cars, but solar panels to power them, and batteries to hold that power. The Verge, for example, reports that Tesla's "online configuration tool" is now showing prices for Tesla-built solar arrays as much as 38% below "the national average, and much less than Tesla charged previously."

The website further points out that Tesla has been losing market share to rivals Sunrun and Vivint -- yes, Vivint was named specifically. The implication would seem to be that, by cutting prices, Tesla may end up stealing back market share from Vivint, forcing it to cut prices and earn less -- or both.

Now what

This is all very hypothetical at this point. What's more, even if Tesla's pricing move does end up hurting Vivint, it's still so new that it's highly unlikely to affect Vivint's results next month at all.

And in that regard, it's worth pointing out that analysts are predicting Vivint will reverse last year's losses and report a $0.10-per-share profit for the first quarter. If that happens, you can expect investors will react positively to its return to profitability. Today's share-price weakness, it seems, could be providing investors an opportunity to cash in on any good news we hear next month.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.