Vivint narrows Q2 loss and shrinks deployment costs

Vivint Solar, SolarCity’s closest rival in the US rooftop solar sector, shrank its quarterly loss and reversed its trend of increasing deployment costs, sending its shares upward Monday.

Vivint deployed 61MW of solar capacity across more than 8,600 rooftop systems in the second quarter, stemming three consecutive quarters of declining deployments.

The Utah-based company’s deployment costs fell sharply to a record-low $2.94/W, from $3.34/W in the first quarter of 2016.

Vivint reported a net loss of $52.3m, topping analysts’ expectations, and improving on its net loss of $89.7m in the same quarter last year.  

Total revenue more than doubled, to $34.9m, while estimated nominal contracted payments remaining grew to nearly $2.3bn. 

Vivint is scrambling to get out from the under the shadow of its failed merger with SunEdison, which was announced last summer and ultimately unraveled earlier this year shortly before SunEdison’s bankruptcy.

The chaos linked to SunEdison’s slow-motion collapse has weighed heavily on Vivint, stymying its ability to raise capital and win new customers.

Vivint has been trying to turn the page on the episode, announcing the resignation of chief executive Greg Butterfield in May and since then securing several new financing deals, including a $313m term loan unveiled last week. 

Vivint made significant strides in reining in its spending during the second quarter. The company trimmed its total operating expenses by nearly 20% while holding its new bookings flat year on year, at 74MW.

Vivint’s shares rose more than 7% on Monday, and then another 3.5% in after-hours trading, leaving it with a market capitalisation close to $370m. The shares remain down more than 75% over the past 12 months.