Sunnova priced its initial public offering at $12 a share last week, below its target of $16 to $18, after rival residential solar company Sunrun published a critical analysis of Sunnova's investor marketing.
Bank of America, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs led the IPO, which raised about $158 million for Sunnova, versus expectations of up to $365 million.
The shares were priced on July 24, a day after competitor Sunrun published a statement accusing Sunnova of making "misleading or inaccurate" comparisons between the two businesses.
"Most significantly, while Sunnova's materials imply that their dealer-only model provides lower costs and more favorable unit economics than Sunrun's, we believe their SEC filings show otherwise," reads the statement. "Sunnova appears to have higher costs and lower customer margins, and this is the case both before and after general and administrative overhead costs are considered."
According to Sunrun's analysis, Sunnova spent $29,397 per customer added in 2018, versus $25,116 spent by Sunrun. Sunrun also calculated "net new customer value" by subtracting general and administrative expenses, resulting in a net new customer value for Sunnova of $3,882 in 2018, versus $7,345 for Sunrun.
Sunrun also criticized the use of fair book value as a comparison point for residential solar companies and pointed out what it described as "short-comings" in the use of Ebitda to value businesses in the industry.
"We stand by our SEC filings and our presentation," said a respresentative of Sunnova in Houston. "We are comfortable with all of our numbers and are focused on running our own race."
Sunnova stock traded down to $11.25 a share at close on July 25 but recovered slightly the following day, to $11.44.