Tesla’s (TSLA) first earnings announcement post-SolarCity integration: cash positions, solar tile roof production this year, more


Tesla has made its first quarterly announcement since it purchased SolarCity in late 2016. Understandably, it seems SolarCity’s own Gigafactory has been renamed Gigafactory 2. The SolarCity integration being an ongoing process warranted notice in the header lines of the document  – with this first page quote reiterating the logic in purchasing SolarCity:

With the acquisition of SolarCity, we have created the world’s only integrated sustainable energy company, from generation to storage to transportation.

Multiple references were made to bettering the cash positions of the company by focusing solar power sales on cash deals that generate immediate revenue versus lease sales. It was stressed that Tesla’s plan to do this was strongly underway – cash sales increased from Q3’16 to Q4’16 from 13% to 28%, while from increasing 7X from the 4% in Q4’15. Of the 203MW installed in the quarter – 56MW were cash sales totaling $77 million. Those $77M were added in only six weeks – $500-667M in cash sales for 2017 (low end adjusted as there is always a bump in 3rd/4th quarter)?

The solar tile roof was referenced:

We plan to begin selling and installing later this year. Compared to regular roofs, we expect our solar roof to last longer, look better, and cost less than a traditional tile roof plus the cost of electricity. To support solar roof production, we announced a solar cell manufacturing partnership with Panasonic. Production is scheduled to begin in Buffalo, N.Y. this year.

One of the biggest hangups I’ve had with selling solar power are the 25% of people who have a roof too old for the panels, now – not only will thing group have a better reason to get a new roof, they’ll get a 30% tax credit on the roof. Solar tile sales will be larger per sale than standard solar panel sales, driving larger volumes of revenue through the company.

Tesla is hoping to minimize solar acquisition costs (sales commission) by selling SolarCity in Tesla shops along side energy storage and vehicles. Much of SolarCity packages are currently sold via door to door knocking – we in the solar industry know the work well.

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