What happened 

Shares of Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) jumped 38.9% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the residential solar installer gave a fairly positive update to investors. I'll also note that the stock is down a modest 4.3% in the first two trading sessions of May even though there hasn't been any significant news so far this month. 

So what 

The biggest update for investors came on April 6, when Sunrun said it deployed 97.4 megawatts (MW) in the first quarter of 2020, ended the period with $366 million in cash, and was accelerating a shift to online sales. The installation number was business as usual, but management did note that it closed a financing round that would fund 90% of the contracted value of another 216 MW of installations. That'll keep the business going for at least another couple of quarters. 

House with large solar installation on roof

Image source: Getty Images.

Having cash on the balance sheet will also be important if the pace of sales and installations drops amid the COVID-19 pandemic and operating losses begin to mount. All told, Sunrun should have enough financing and operating cash to get through the worst of the public health crisis. 

Now what 

Investors were initially worried about companies simply surviving the next few months, and for Sunrun that question appears to have been answered. We'll get a better picture after the market closes on Wednesday, May 6, when the company reports quarterly earnings and management gives an idea of what the last month has been like. Expect demand for solar installations to be down, but if Sunrun can survive the next few quarters, it should return to growth as the economy returns to more normal conditions.

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