The residential-solar industry has gone through some big changes over the past year. Large, national installers such asVivint Solar (NYSE:VSLR) and Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) have lost market share to smaller, regional and local installers, and customers have moved to buying their solar systems with cash or loans, rather than leases or power purchase agreements that drove the growth of national installers.
Companies are adapting different ways to these industry changes. And the futures of Vivint Solar and Sunrun as investments could depend on how strategic decisions work out.
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Adapting to loans and cash sales
Vivint Solar is adapting to the new conditions in residential solar by transitioning to more solar system sales. In the first quarter of 2017, solar system and product sales were $22.7 million, compared with just $0.7 million a year ago. And it generated 17.9% gross margin on those sales, which isn’t a bad start for the company.
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