SolarCity, the biggest U.S. solar company by market value, increased its loss in the second quarter by investing in the installation of 107 megawatts of new rooftop-power plants.
The net loss in the second quarter increased to $47.7 million, or 52 cents a share, from $39.5 million, or 52 cents, a year earlier, San Mateo-based SolarCity said Thursday in a statement. Excluding some items, a loss of 96 cents was smaller than the expected loss of 99 cents, the average of 10 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose to $61.3 million from $37.9 million.
The company is expected to lose more than $1 billion over the next three years through 2016 on rooftop power projects for homes and commercial buildings. Customers sign decades-long contracts to buy the output, and SolarCity is pouring the revenue into new installations. SolarCity had 141,034 customers at the end of the second quarter.
"With adding 30,000 customers in one quarter we're well on our way to reach 1 million by 2018," Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Rive said on a conference call Thursday. "We're investing in customer growth."
The company installed 82 megawatts of panels in the first quarter. It acquired a solar manufacturer, Silevo, to ensure a steady supply of panels as its chairman, billionaire Elon Musk, predicted annual demand would eventually reach "tens of gigawatts."