May 13, 2013 / 9:51 PM / 4 years ago

SolarCity quarterly loss bigger than expected, shares drop

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - SolarCity Corp SCTY.O on Monday reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss, reversing a year-ago profit, due to higher costs related to its business that installs solar panels on rooftops.

The company's shares slid 4.5 percent in after-hours trade following the announcement.

The first-quarter net loss was $31 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with a profit of $656,000, or 4 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts, on average, had been expecting a loss of 32 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose nearly 21 percent to $29.99 million from $24.84 million a year ago, topping Wall Street's estimate of $29.1 million. Operating lease revenue almost doubled to $15.1 million, and deployments were 46 megawatts, up 12 percent.

For the second quarter, SolarCity expects to deploy between 48 MW and 53 MW and forecast operating lease revenue of $16 million to $18 million.

SolarCity has grown rapidly thanks to a business model that allows homeowners to pay a monthly fee for solar panels, eliminating the need for a large upfront investment.

SolarCity shares fell 4.5 percent to $34.25 in extended trade after closing at $35.88 Monday on the Nasdaq.

Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz

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