SolarCity doubles first-quarter revenue, cuts net loss by 41%

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SolarCity more than doubled its revenue in the first three months of the year, from nearly $30 million a year ago to $63.5 million. The company, based in San Mateo, California, also managed to nearly halve its net loss from $40.9 million to $24 million.

Revenue from SolarCity’s popular solar system leasing business rose 93% to $29.1 million in the quarter, owing largely to an increase in cumulative operating lease MW Deployed. Solar system sales also soared from $14.9 million to $34.47 million, contributing to a 112% increase in total revenue to $63.5 million.

The company achieved the high-end of guidance for both megawatts deployed and revenue from its leasing business, setting a new quarterly record with 136 MW booked. SolarCity reported 17,664 new customers — the largest quarterly gain in its history, ending the first quarter with more than 110,000 customers. It remains on track to meet its one million customer target by 2018.

The group expressed growing confidence in the outlook for both demand and the scaling of its operations, bolstered by the recent launch of its service into Nevada, its 15th state, and as a result increased its 2014 guidance to 500-550 MW deployed from previous guidance of 475-525 MW. It also set initial guidance for 2015 MW deployed at between 900 MW and 1 GW.

"At the midpoint of guidance, we estimate we would exit next year with more than 2 GW of cumulative MW deployed and annualized electricity production of approximately 2.8 terawatt hours," the company said. "This would put us on a path to fulfill our goal to become one of the largest suppliers of electricity in the United States."