Environment

Sunrun shares surge after company reports jump in customers, says higher utility prices are fueling solar

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Sunrun employee Gonzalo Najera carries a solar panel before installation at a home in Alamo, Calif., May 17, 2021.
Scott Strazzante | San Francisco Chronicle | Hearst Newspapers | Getty Images

Sunrun shares jumped 11% during extended trading Wednesday after the company posted first-quarter earnings results, including a 39% increase in customer orders over the same time last year.

Here are the numbers, versus estimates from analysts surveyed by Refinitiv:

  • Revenue: $495.8 million, versus $401.3 million expected.
  • Loss: 42 cents per share, versus a loss of 17 cents per share expected.

The company also raised its guidance, saying it expects installed solar capacity to be 25% or greater for 2022. Sunrun’s prior guidance pegged growth rates at 20%.

Sunrun, which is the largest residential solar installer in the U.S., added 29,463 customers during the first quarter, a 20% increase from the same period in 2021. The company now has roughly 690,000 customers.

The results come as the industry continues to grapple with supply chain headwinds and inflationary pressures. But the company said it’s successfully passing along some of its higher costs to consumers.

“Over the last month we successfully implemented meaningful pricing changes to offset higher material and capital costs, and continue to see very strong demand as utility rate inflation exceeds 11% across the country,” said outgoing chief financial officer Tom vonReichbauer.

Commodity prices are rising across the board, making renewable energy more competitive with fossil fuels. U.S. natural gas prices surged to the highest price since 2008 on Wednesday.

The company also announced that vonReichbauer will step down as CFO at the end of May. Danny Abajian, who is currently senior vice president at Sunrun, will become CFO effective May 30.

Shares of Sunrun are down roughly 30% for the year through Wednesday’s close.

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