After a big run leading into its first-quarter earnings report, shares of Vivint Solar fell 5 percent last week after posting disappointing earnings. Despite the Street's reaction, however, CEO Greg Butterfield says he's excited about the company's move into the commercial solar business.
The solar installer reported a loss of 57 cents per share on revenue of $9.55 million on Tuesday. The company blamed the miss on rising costs, which ballooned to $23.9 million from $11.2 million a year ago. Increased head count and lower efficiency due to winter weather conditions were key factors behind the uptick in expenses.
Butterfield, whose company is the second-largest residential solar provider according to industry analysts, said on Vivint's earnings call that expansion into the commercial space could be a growth area.
In an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money" last week, Butterfield explained how the company's alliance with Blackstone—Vivint Solar's second-largest shareholder—would "cut costs, form better relationships with its manufacturers, and allow a convergence of residential and commercial solar projects."
"Customer demand is still very very strong," Butterfield said, adding that "We think we had a great quarter."
Saying they deployed more power than they initially forecast, Butterfield added: "We're building an infrastructure to meet the demands of what we view to be a very positive year in 2015."
Although the segment isn't factored into forward guidance, Butterfield insisted the alliance would create synergies between the residential and commercial business.