Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of solar installer SolarCity (SCTY.DL) dropped 11% today after the company released first-quarter earnings.
So what: Revenue was up 21% from a year ago to $29.99 million, ahead of Wall Street's $29.1 million estimate. The problem is that the company's net loss was $31 million, or $0.41 per share, and analysts were only expecting a $0.32 loss per share.
Now what: It's going to be some time before SolarCity reports a profit so the higher than expected loss isn't a huge surprise. The company still expects to install 250 MW of solar this year and expects lease revenue to be $16 million-$18 million in the second quarter. This is recurring revenue; it's growth in leases we should be worried about. I don't think this is a reason to panic but I'd be cautious getting into SolarCity because operating expenses are growing much faster than revenue or installations right now.
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