By - Jim Vess

Sunrun sets a record for installations in Q3, but its stock slides on a $2.9 million loss

Energize Weekly, November 14, 2018

Sunrun, the country’s largest solar installer in 2017, set a record in the third quarter of 2018 with 100 megawatts of installations, but a $2.9 million loss for the period sent its stock plunging.

The 100 MW—13,000 solar arrays—surpassed the previous record of 91 MW, set in the second quarter of 2018.

The company said in its earnings report that it is on pace for a 15 percent increase over 2017. Sunrun has installed a total of 1,460 MW of photovoltaic solar.

The challenge for Sunrun has been that acquiring new customers entails upfront costs that are paid back over the course of 20-year contracts.

The company has been working to cut its “creation costs,” which dropped 7 percent between 2016 and 2017. Those costs were $3.34 a watt in the third quarter of 2018. That was flat compared to the same quarter of 2017, but 7 percent higher than in the second quarter of 2018.

In the second quarter of 2018, Sunrun reported a profit of $7.4 million down from $18.3 million a year earlier. After the 2018 second quarter earnings report the company’s share price also dropped.

The third-quarter $2.9 million loss, a 2 cents per diluted share loss, compares to a $28 million in net income in 2017.

Gross earnings for the year, as of Sept. 30, were $2.8 billion, up 37 percent from the same period in 2017.

Sunrun also said that it expects to install 5,000 of its new solar-plus-storage product, Brightbox, this year.

After the earnings report, the Sunrun stock price dropped a little more than 5 percent to $12.47 a share on Nov. 8. It closed the week a $12.30 a share.

“We installed a record amount of solar energy and home batteries this quarter and delivered more than 50 percent year-over-year growth in our direct business,” Lynn Jurich, Sunrun’s CEO, said in a statement. “Our employees are proud to accelerate the country toward a carbon-free and resilient power system with our Brightbox home solar and battery service.”

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