Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Is Vivint Solar A Good Investment

How Much Is Vivint Solar Incs Ceo Getting Paid

Sunrun Buying Rival Vivint for $1.46 Billion

David Bywater has been the CEO of Vivint Solar Inc since 2016. This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation levels in comparison to CEO compensation at companies of similar size. After that, we will consider the growth in the business. Third, well reflect on the total return to shareholders over three years, as a second measure of business performance. This method should give us information to assess how appropriately the company pays the CEO.

Interested In Purchasing Solar Through Vivint But Not Sure If They Are Getting Good Reviews

It’s our job to research the major players in the solar industry to save you some of the hours of legwork involved in researching and purchasing your new system. We will take a look at Vivint solar reviews from a variety of sources below, highlight the compliments and complaints, analyze the review trends, and see how they stack up against similar companies in their niche. Numbers are current as of the writing of this post.

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The Risks Facing Vslr Stock

At the same time, Vivint Solar stock seems like anything but a slam dunk. The solar sector has been around for a century. Despite this, the number of solar companies that have made consistent profits for investors seems close to zero. VSLR itself trades well below its highs from earlier this decade. It originally planned to sell itself to SunEdison, but canceled the deal SunEdison headed into bankruptcy not long after.

RUN did hit an all-time high earlier this year. Solar cell manufacturer First Solar traded sideways in recent years. But overall, this has been a difficult sector, with tariffs and subsidies leading to pricing volatility. This dynamic created problems for manufacturers and installers alike.

In that context, theres an obvious question as to whether Vivint Solars model is just too tough. Its business is, and will remain, labor-intensive. Financing depends on investors willingness to buy into securitizations at low interest rates.

Interest rates have stayed low this decade, but they may not do so forever. Change the discount rate on future cash flows that VSLR uses to calculate net retained value per share from 6% to 8%. When you do that, the net retained value per share of VSLR stock drops to $6. Thats a much lower margin of safety and suggests smaller potential gains from these shares.

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Overview Of Vivint Solar Reviews

Let’s start by looking at Vivint’s overall customer scores from several sources.

Consumer Affairs: 3.8 out of 5

Vivint reviews from Consumer Affairs are solidly in the “Above Average” range. With a hefty number of ratings, it looks like you are more likely to find a pleasurable experience with Vivint than a bad one. Looking at the individual rating breakdown, we can see how the 3.8 average came about and discover that, in actuality it might be a little misleading. Take a look below.

  • 1 Star: 29% of reviews
  • 2 Stars: 9% of reviews
  • 3 Stars: 3% of reviews
  • 4 Stars: 4% of reviews
  • 5 Stars: 29% of reviews

We can see that, although the overall rating points indicate an above average experience, the exact same number of reviews had a 5-star rating as the 1-stars. There really aren’t a lot of people stuck in the middle over at Consumer Affairs – it’s either love them or hate them!

Best Company: 6.6 out of 10

Somewhat similar to Consumer Affairs, at Best Company you’ll find a “Slightly Above Average” overall rating for their Vivint reviews . The site has a strict moderation policy that regularly scans for fake reviews and removes them from the scoring. They never take payments in exchange for top spots!

This overall rating isn’t very encouraging, so let’s take a look at the breakdown to see where everyone cast their vote on the Vivint experience.

  • 0 Stars: 19%
  • 7-9 Stars: 15%
  • 10 Stars: 48%

Solar Reviews: 3.13 out of 5

  • 1 Star: 40%
  • 4 Stars: 5%
  • 5 Stars: 47%

Yelp Reviews: Varied by Location

Vivint Solar’s Outstanding Performance

Vivint Solar Secures $200 Million of Tax Equity ...

First, I think it’s important to look at just how good 2019 has been for Vivint Solar’s stock: It is up 108.7% so far this year.

VSLR data by YCharts

A lot of that performance was propelled by tailwinds from the U.S. residential solar industry overall. In the first quarter, installations grew 6% from a year earlier to 603 megawatts , according to the Solar Market Insight Report 2019 Q2 from SEIA and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. In addition, states like Florida and Texas are finally starting to live up to their potential as residential solar markets, contributing to a growth rate that’s expected to fall between 5% and 20% through 2021.

As strong as 2019 has been so far domestically for the industry, Vivint Solar’s growth outpaced the average. It installed 45.6 MW of solar in Q1, up 12.9% year over year. But that acceleration wasn’t the only driver of the stock’s performance.

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Typical Complaints About Vivint

Complaints about Vivint run the gamut, but most of them revolve around poor workmanship that caused leaks, unresponsive customer service, and dishonest information.

Here’s one review from Best Company about poor customer service:

Vivint does not live up to its customer service is in our dna for existing customers. They focus on Sales and New installs. Once you have your panels installed, it takes weeks / months to get problems resolved. In the seven months since my system was activated, we have experienced two inverter problems. Both times took > month to resolve during which time my panels produced no energy. However, Vivint continued to bill me. This summer my electric bill is double the cost it was when I used only National Grid. This company does not care about existing customers.

Consumer Affairs shows us a review about leaks caused by Vivint’s solar panel installation:

My roof has been leaking caused by their solar panels. I contacted them about it. They send an inspector. He came to conclusion that half of my house is leaking caused by their panels. They sent out an estimator for a roofing company to do the estimate for them. One week after the guy did the estimate for them, James called me saying they will only pay $500.00 for the damages they caused to my roof. Half of the house is leaking. From the kitchen to our bathroom and my bedroom. I dont think that the amount of damage they caused only cost $500.

Solar Energy: An Overview

Solar energy typically works by converting light energy from the sun into electricity. Photovoltaic energy is created by using flat solar panels that can be affixed to a structure’s roof or arrayed across open spaces. Another method, known as thermal solar, uses a series of mirrors to focus the sun’s energy on a single point to turn water into steam, which then turns a turbine. For consumer and business applications, photovoltaic solar panels are much more common than other types.

The cost for solar power in Q4 2019 was below $.20 per KWH in all of the states recorded and below $.15 and $.10 per KWH in some states. The national average for fossil fuel electricity was $0.13. Prices are comparable, but the real savings from solar come in future years due to the 2.2% inflationary prices per year for fossil fuel electricity. With solar, you are locking in costs at a constant rate. The only additional cost factors are the upfront costs of installing a solar system and the fossil fuel electricity costs needed when solar doesn’t cover all energy needs.

While the most efficient solar panels on the market today have efficiency ratings as high as 23%, the majority of panels range from a 15% to 20% efficiency rate. The most efficient solar panels and their efficiency rates are:

  • SunPower: 22.8%
  • CSUN: 21.2%
  • Solaria: 20.5%
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    More About Vivint Solar Inc

    Vivint Solar Inc is a United States-based solar company. Vivint distributes electricity to residential customers through long-term contracts. It has designed and engineered its own solar energy systems for customer use by using proprietary processes. The company operates in a single segment of Residential.

    Can I Get Out Of My Vivint Solar Contract

    Vivint Solar, Inc. – VSLR Stock Chart Technical Analysis for 08-07-2019

    Leasing contracts from SunRun, Vivint, or other third-party owned providers offer a short time frame where you can cancel the contract without incurring any penalty. This time frame may be different from one leasing company to another, but you can expect it to be around 30 days after signing a contract.

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    Buying Solar For Your Home Is A Major Investment That You Shouldn’t Decide On The Spot Here’s What To Look Out For When A Salesperson Knocks On Your Door

    With the exploding popularity of rooftop solar, competition among solar installers to capture as much of that market is intense.

    If you live in one of the hot markets for rooftop solar such as California, Hawaii, the southwest, and some northeast states, theres a good chance youve heard your doorbell ring and found a solar salesperson at your door, ready to pitch you on the benefits of rooftop solar.

    Its one thing to buy Girl Scout cookies from someone who shows up unannounced at your home, but with a product like rooftop solar theres a lot more at stake. Not only does solar for your home cost quite a bit more than a box of cookies, but its also a product that will be part of your home for 20 to 25 years. Its not a decision that you should make impulsively, but the goal of door-to-door sales is to convince you to make a decision as quickly as possible.

    It should be said that most door-to-door salespeople are ethical professionals trying to do an honest job, but it only takes a few bad apples to give consumers a reason to be wary. For example, Vivint Solar was sued by the attorney general for the state of New Mexico partly because of dishonest sales practices by Vivints door-to-door sales.

    Not all solar door-to-door sales is a scam, but how do you protect yourself? Here are some tips:

    What Are Other Ways That I Should Pay For Solar Panels For My Home

    If you want to get solar panels for your house, you basically have three ways to pay for them:

    • Pay cash.
    • Take out a loan, then pay cash.
    • Get a solar lease or power purchase agreement.

    The first two are pretty self-explanatory: the solar contractor installs solar panels on your roof or in your backyard, takes care of the permits, and connects your system to the grid. When theyâre done, you pay the invoice.

    If you donât have the cash in your bank to cut a check, you can take out a loan. If youâre a homeowner, a home equity line of credit or a home equity loan are common ways to use the equity in your home to get a loan at a favorable rate. Itâs generally much, much cheaper than carrying a balance on your credit card.

    Whether you take out a loan or not, by purchasing your system youâll almost always gain the highest financial benefit. One big reason is that, as the owner of the system, you keep any solar incentives. This includes at least the 26% federal tax credit, and many state and local rebates are also available across the country.

    To help you figure all this out check out our article on paying for solar panels, which includes a simple cash purchase versus loan calculator.

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    States That Allow Solar Ppas And Leases In 2021

    A power purchase agreement or lease is known as third-party ownership, and itâs a financing model allowed in only about half the states in the US. This is a list of states that permit this in 2021:

    • Arizona
    • Vermont
    • Virginia

    Some states do not allow third-party ownership because of regulatory obstacles preventing solar companies from selling electricity into the grid – the argument is that these companies have a widely distributed set of small solar power plants and are effectively acting as utilities. There may also be political opposition from entrenched interests who would prefer to not have distributed solar competing with existing power generation.

    This is a volatile topic, so watch this blog for future updates.

    What Happened To My Vivint Solar Stock

    Better Buy in Solar: Vivint Solar or Sunrun?

    As previously announced, Vivint Solar stockholders will receive 0.55 shares of Sunrun common stock for each share of Vivint Solar common stock they own immediately prior to the consummation of the acquisition. The combined company will continue to trade on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol RUN.

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    Sunrun Is The Clear Leader In Residential Solar Energy

    Whenever I’m looking at solar energy stocks, I seek out good companies with strong management, a loyal customer base, great products, and a long term growth strategy.

    Sunrun checks off all of these boxes and has a world class management team by the company.

    Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich is a Stanford business school graduate who co-founded the company in 2007.

    Under her leadership, Sunrun has achieved some incredible benchmarks over the years including the removal of 8.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution since 2007.

    No other US based residential solar energy company has as many customers or megawatt energy capacity installed when compared to Sunrun.

    • Sunrun Megawatts Installed in Q1: 167.6
    • SunPower Megawatts Installed in Q1: 165
    • Tesla Megawatts Installed in Q1 : 92

    While other companies like Tesla and SunPower focus on other key markets like electric cars and commercial solar roofs respectively, I like Sunrun’s clear focus on helping the average America transition smoothly to renewable solar energy.

    How The Engine Keeps Humming

    Vivint Solar would love to see interest rates stay low, but that’s a factor that’s out of its hands. Still, investors will want to watch rates closely.

    Favorable changes to public policy in a number of states are also a key tailwind, particularly in the South. Vivint Solar began selling solar leases in Florida last year, and is slowly growing in Texas as well. As more states become friendlier to residential solar, the company’s reliance on Massachusetts and California will subside, and the total addressable market will grow.

    The final factor to watch is component costs. When President Trump implemented solar tariffs in early 2018, it was seen as a hindrance to the solar power industry in the U.S. But since then, the administration has made exemptions for SunPower’s high-efficiency panels and all bifacial panels. These exemptions helped lower the cost of solar panels, which benefits Vivint Solar.

    I don’t think investors will see Vivint Solar’s stock doubling again in the next six months, but it’s still a well-positioned company with significant value already on its balance sheet. If it can capitalize on the industry’s growth, it could be a steady performer for investors long term, and that’s why I’m keeping it as an outperform call on My CAPS page.

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    Why Would You Chose A Solar Lease

    When you sign a contract for a solar lease or PPA, you dont pay for the cost of the equipment – youre pay to use them. In other words, its like a rental agreement. This can be appealing because the average upfront cost when you purchase a system is several thousand dollars.

    Another advantage is that at the start of your lease or PPA, you should pay less for electricity than you did before.

    One last possible advantage is that if you dont have enough tax liability to take advantage of solar tax credits, such as the 26% federal tax credit, a solar lease or PPA might make financial sense for you.

    I said that you should pay less for electricity with a lease deal, but thats not always the case. In fact, due to escalator clauses in most contracts you might find yourself in a losing situation where you end up paying more for electricity than you did before!

    This is one of the reasons why two states attorneys general have sued Vivint Solar, one of the largest companies in this market. More about that later.

    How Are Hedge Funds Trading Vivint Solar Inc

    Vivint Solar, Inc. – VSLR Stock Chart Technical Analysis for 06-18-2019

    At the end of the first quarter, a total of 16 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 23% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards VSLR over the last 18 quarters. With hedge funds positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially .

    Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Arosa Capital Management, managed by Till Bechtolsheimer, holds the largest position in Vivint Solar Inc . Arosa Capital Management has a $14.9 million position in the stock, comprising 1.8% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Point72 Asset Management, led by Steve Cohen, holding a $7.3 million position the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors that are bullish comprise Ken Griffins Citadel Investment Group, and Thomas E. Clauguss GMT Capital. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Arosa Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to Vivint Solar Inc , around 1.8% of its 13F portfolio. Ardsley Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.51 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to VSLR.

    Ticker

    If you own regular stocks, youre in for a big surprise, he adds.

    And no, its not cryptocurrencies.

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