SolarCity to restate 2012-13 results

SolarCity will need to restate its 2012 and 2013 financial results after discovering an accounting mistake in the way it determines overhead expenses.

In a statement, the California-based company says fixing the problem will add $16m to $20m to the cost of solar system sales for the first three quarters of 2013, and $20m to $23m for 2012.

Chief executive Lyndon Rive told analysts on a conference call that the problem was discovered during an internal audit of fourth quarter financial statements.

He said the company had assigned an excessive amount of overhead expenses to its solar leases while shortchanging solar array sales.

SolarCity main business is residential and commercial solar system leasing, with sales of solar arrays more important for businesses than homeowners.

 “Total overhead has not changed,” says Rive, adding there is also no change to net cash flows.

The company plans to release adjusted results including those for the fourth quarter by 18 March.

SolarCity closed at $83.26 in New York, down 2%.