Tue, Nov. 24, 5:07 PM
- Brad Buss, who only became SolarCity's (NASDAQ:SCTY) CFO in Aug. 2014, plans to retire in 2016. He'll remain CFO until the completion of SolarCity's 2015 accounting (expected in early February), and "remain in an advisory role until later in 2016 to ensure a smooth transition."
- COO Tanguy Serra has been promoted to president. He'll "continue to oversee SolarCity's operations in his new role, and has assumed management of the company's structured finance, asset management and investor relations organizations." The finance and accounting divisions will continue reporting to Buss until February.
- CEO Lyndon Rive: "Tanguy has a rare combination of experience in solar operations and finance, and he has a unique understanding of finance and operations at SolarCity, As COO, Tanguy has significantly reduced the cost of our operations while maintaining strong growth, and his increased responsibilities as President will put him in a position to accelerate those trends."
- The news comes less than a month after SolarCity cut its 2015 installation forecast and offered a lower-than-expected 2016 forecast, while stating it aims to become cash-flow positive by the end of 2016.
- Shares have fallen to $27.62 after hours.
Wed, Nov. 18, 8:57 AM
- P-E firm Silver Lake's alternative energy arm (Silver Lake Kraftwerk) is investing $100M in SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), the NYT reports. Chairman Elon Musk (recently disclosed new share purchases) is investing $10M, and CEO Lyndon Rive $3M. The investment is in the form of non-interest bearing notes convertible at $33/share.
- Silver Lake invested $25M in SolarCity in 2012 before the company went public, and earned a 4x return when it sold its shares post-IPO. The NYT states Silver Lake execs recently approached Rive and "offered what they described as a show of confidence in the company: a big investment."
- SolarCity has risen to $27.10 premarket. Shares fell hard yesterday as solar stocks sold off amid SunEdison's plunge.They're down 49% YTD.
- Update: SolarCity has confirmed the investment.
Tue, Nov. 17, 3:28 PM
- SunEdison is down 33% as fears about the solar/wind project developer's balance sheet and cash flow profile continue unabated, and 13F filings indicate many hedge funds pared or liquidated their positions in Q3.
- The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN -4.8%) has fallen towards $26; the 52-week low (set in September) is $25.25. The Nasdaq and S&P are down modestly.
- Aside from SunEdison and its YieldCos, notable decliners include Canadian Solar (CSIQ -6.7%), SunPower (SPWR -7.5%), Enphase (ENPH -11.1%), SolarEdge (SEDG -7.7%), Daqo (DQ -4.3%), and Sunrun (RUN -4.9%). All but Daqo have strong North American exposure.
- SolarCity (SCTY -7.7%) is also off sharply, though Elon Musk has disclosed fresh purchases over the last few days. JA Solar (JASO -2.6%) is lower in spite of posting a Q3 beat and issuing solid Q4 shipment guidance.
Tue, Nov. 17, 10:06 AM
- Musk has disclosed he bought 84K SolarCity (SCTY -2.3%) shares last Thursday at $25.20, 223.2K shares on Friday at $25.40, and 198.6K on Monday at $26.45. His stake now stands at 21.3M shares (over 21%).
- The SolarCity chairman and Tesla/SpaceX CEO bought 123.5K shares in August at $40.49. The latest purchases come more than 50% below where SolarCity traded to begin the year, as shares remain pressured on account of a solar stock selloff and the installation guidance provided with SolarCity's Oct. 29 Q3 report.
Fri, Nov. 13, 12:38 PM
- Beaten-down U.S. residential solar installer Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) has jumped after posting mixed Q3 results and reporting 55.7MW of solar deployments, up 85% Y/Y on an organic basis and above guidance of 54MW-55MW. Larger rival SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), which has been hammered after cutting its 2015 solar installation guidance and providing a lower-than-expected 2016 installation forecast on Oct. 29, is also higher.
- Metrics: Sunrun's full-year guidance of 205MW has been reiterated. Bookings rose 54% Q/Qand 115% Y/Y to 94.5MW, creation cost per watt fell 8% Q/Q to $3.75, and pre-tax project value per watt fell 6% Q/Q to $4.70. Estimated nominal contracted payments rose 56% Y/Y to $2.22B, and estimated retained value 53% to $1.37B.
- Financials: Operating lease/incentive revenue rose 47% Y/Y to $31.7M. Solar energy system/product sales rose 48% to $51M. GAAP costs/expenses rose 56% to $145.4M. Over the past 9 months, op. cash flow has been -$71.9M, and $408.9M in payments have been made for the costs of installed solar systems. Sunrun ended Q3 with $279M in cash, $226M in long-term debt, $133M in credit line borrowings, and $109M in solar asset-backed notes.
- Sunrun's Q3 results, PR
Wed, Nov. 11, 1:46 PM
- Markets continue to become more risk-averse towards two once-high-flying industries: Solar stocks are adding to the Tuesday losses seen following SunEdison and Canadian Solar's earnings (TAN -2.5%), and 3D printing stocks are taking another leg lower after dropping yesterday in the wake of ExOne's results/guidance. The Nasdaq and S&P are nearly flat.
- Solar decliners: SunEdison (SUNE -15.7%), SolarCity (SCTY -3.9%), SunPower (SPWR -3.5%), SolarEdge (SEDG -13.1%), Vivint (VSLR -10.8%), TerraForm Power (TERP -4%), TerraForm Global (GLBL -4.6%), Sunrun (RUN -2.9%), and 8point3 Energy (CAFD -4.4%). SunEdison, SolarCity, SolarEdge, and TerraForm Power have made new 52-week lows.
- 3D printing decliners: 3D Systems (DDD -6.1%), Stratasys (SSYS -4.7%), ExOne (XONE -5.6%), and Voxeljet (VJET -3.9%). 3D and Stratasys have made new 52-week lows.
- UBS has cut its SunEdison target by $3 to $6. Among other things, it attributes SunEdison's post-earning nosedive to lower-than-expected margins on retained projects, management's plans to push ahead with the Vivint acquisition, and LAP Holdings' plans to seek at least $150M in damages following SunEdison's cancelled acquisition of the company.
- RBC (target cut by $4 to $20) has joined the ranks of firms defending SunEdison (previous), arguing its recent decisions to cut project construction guidance, lower spending, and sell a greater portion of its projects to third parties make sense. It sees the company "progressing towards sustainable growth," while cautioning shares will remain volatile in the near-term. SunEdison is down 34% over the last two days.
Tue, Nov. 10, 11:14 AM
- SunEdison (SUNE -18.9%) has plunged to new multi-year lows after posting mixed Q3 results, cutting its full-year cash available for distribution (CAFD) guidance, and narrowing its full-year project delivery guidance. Canadian Solar (CSIQ -6.5%) has gone south in spite of beating estimates and providing above-consensus Q4 guidance.
- Solar peers are also off - the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEARCA:TAN) is at its lowest levels since early October. U.S. decliners include First Solar (FSLR -6.2%), SolarCity (SCTY -6%), SunPower (SPWR -6.3%), Enphase (ENPH -8.1%), Solar3D (SLTD -4.6%), SunEdison's TerraForm Power (TERP -13.2%) YieldCo, and SunEdison acquisition target Vivint (VSLR -3.9%).
- International decliners include Chinese plays Trina (TSL -5.7%), ReneSola (SOL -7.1%), JinkoSolar (JKS -9.2%), and JA Solar (JASO -5.3%), as well as Israel's SolarEdge (SEDG -6.7%) and SunEdison's emerging markets-focused TerraForm Global (TERP -13.2%) YieldCo.
- “Right now I want the company to become more boring, Boring, and cash-flow generating," said embattled SunEdison CEO Ahmad Chatila on the Q3 earnings call. He reiterated SunEdison expects to build 3.3GW-3.7GW of projects in 2016; the company had once planned to build 4.5GW.
Fri, Oct. 30, 12:45 PM
Fri, Oct. 30, 9:12 AM
Thu, Oct. 29, 5:36 PM
Thu, Oct. 29, 4:50 PM
- SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) installed 256MW of solar systems in Q3, +86% Y/Y but slightly below guidance of 260MW. Q4 guidance is for 280MW-300MW of installations (+58%-69% Y/Y). That implies full-year installations of 878MW-898MW, below prior guidance of 920MW-1GW.
- 2016 installation guidance has been set at 1.25GW (+41% Y/Y at the 2015 guidance midpoint). SolarCity: "[W]e are not targeting the same growth rates that have gotten us to our current scale going forward. Specifically it is our goal to achieve positive cash flow by 2016 year-end and be in solid shape prior to the planned ITC [tax credit] expiration in 2017 ... We also expect to announce meaningful reductions to our 2017 cost targets by our next earnings call."
- Metrics: Q3 bookings totaled 345MW, -13% Q/Q and +50% Y/Y; annual growth slowed from Q2's 81%. Customer count rose 13% Q/Q and 77% Y/Y to 298K. Blended installation cost fell to $1.92/watt (near a 2017 goal of $1.90/watt) from $2.13/watt in Q2 and $2.19/watt a year ago; other costs totaled $0.91/watt. Estimated net retained value rose $240M Q/Q to $3.3B. Estimated nominal contracted payments remaining rose $1.2B Q/Q to $8.9B (+115% Y/Y).
- Q4 revenue/EPS guidance: Operating lease/solar systems revenue of $70M-$76M and energy system/component sale revenue of $30M-$32M, implying total revenue of $100M-$108M, below a $117.8M consensus. EPS guidance of -$2.60 to -$2.75 is below a -$2.17 consensus.
- Shares have plunged to $30.92 after hours.
- Q3 results, shareholder letter (.pdf), slides (.pdf)
Thu, Oct. 29, 4:15 PM
Wed, Oct. 28, 5:35 PM
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Tue, Oct. 20, 5:41 PM
- Noted short seller Jim Chanos says the effects from the drop in oil prices are just beginning to be felt, and North American oil and gas E&P companies are in trouble.
- Chanos thinks the business model for fracking that underpins the U.S. shale revolution will crumble, arguing that "with depletion rates so high, maintenance capital costs to keep production constant are pretty much much larger than people think."
- He also says the accounting method used by most E&P companies obscures their actual earnings, distorting the way they report EBITDA figures: “Real levels of EBITDA may be lower - significantly lower,” he says, meaning investors may be paying much higher multiples than they realize for these stocks.
- Chanos has been bearish on Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT:LNG) and SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY).
- ETFs: XOP, IEO, PXE, NDP
Mon, Oct. 19, 10:24 AM
- Axiom Securities' Gordon Johnson, a long-time solar bear, has launched coverage on SolarCity (SCTY -2.5%) with a Sell rating.
- Johnson asserts SolarCity is a leasing company at heart, and claims the company has engaged in subprime lending practices - Jim Chanos made similar arguments, which CEO Lyndon Rive countered. He also criticizes the company's plans to build a massive solar module plant, makes note of recent insider sales, and highlights efforts by utilities to halt solar net metering.
- Shares are adding to the Friday losses seen amid a solar stock selloff, but have bounced from premarket levels.
- Update (2:10PM ET): SolarCity is now down 8.1%.
Mon, Oct. 19, 9:13 AM
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