SolarCity Corp. (SCTY), the biggest U.S. solar power provider by market value, swung to a loss in the first quarter as winter storms in the Northeast slowed installation of its rooftop power systems.
The net loss was $24.1 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with a loss of $40.9 million, or 54 cents, a year earlier, San Mateo, California-based SolarCity said today in a statement. It reported profits in the third and fourth quarters, the first since the company’s December 2012 initial public offering.
Analysts had expected a net loss of 89 cents a share, the average of four estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Installations fell to 82 megawatts in the quarter from 103 megawatts in the fourth quarter.
SolarCity installs rooftop solar panels at little to no upfront cost to customers who sign long-term contracts to buy the power. This model is propelling the fastest-growing part of the U.S. solar market.
Installations in the quarter may have slowed because of bad weather, especially in the Northeast, Philip Shen, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners LLC in Newport Beach, California, said in a research note today. That “could be offset by strong bookings growth” in the quarter for projects that will be installed this quarter.
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