November 8, 2017 / 11:11 PM / a year ago

Sunrun 3rd-qtr volumes top view as company gains share

Nov 8 (Reuters) - U.S. residential solar installer Sunrun Inc on Wednesday said third-quarter deployments of solar energy systems topped its expectations as it increased market share, but it stuck to its forecast for the full year.

The company deployed 90 megawatts of solar systems during the quarter, above the 88 MW it had been expecting and 12 percent higher than the 80 MW it deployed a year ago.

Sunrun has benefited this year from a pullback by its top competitor, Tesla Inc, which put the brakes on solar growth after it acquired installer SolarCity last year.

"We love our position right now. We're absolutely on offense and the share gains that you see we think are pretty strong," Chief Executive Lynn Jurich said on a conference call with analysts.

The company's stock closed at $5.89 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday and was unchanged after hours.

Sunrun still expects to deploy 325 MW of solar for the year. On the conference call, Jurich said weather and "other temporary factors" would affect market growth over the next two quarters, adding that it would speed up next year.

She forecast a long-term industry growth rate of 15 to 20 percent, and said the market in California had rebounded in the third quarter in part due to additions of home batteries to about 10 percent of solar systems.

Net present value, a measure of the profitability of solar projects that subtracts the cost of systems from the value of their upfront and future payments and incentives, increased 21 percent to $93 million during the quarter, in part thanks to lower installation costs. The company said NPV would be $1.05 per watt for the year, up from a prior view of $1 per watt.

Sunrun, which pays for most of its systems itself upfront and recoups that cost in monthly payments from customers over a 20-year period, believes net present value is a better metric by which to value its business than quarterly revenue or income.

Revenue rose 26 percent from a year ago to $141.3 million from $112 million. Net income rose 64 percent to $27.8 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with $16.9 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago. (Reporting by Nichola Groom in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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