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Lower offer price wins SolarCity fans

NEW YORK — SolarCity Corp. may not have raised as much in its initial public offering as it had once hoped. But at its lowered offering price, the solar power company found more than a few takers.

During the first day of trading, shares jumped as much as 59 percent during the day. The stock closed Thursday at $11.79, or about 47 percent above its offering price or $8. That valued SolarCity at nearly $867 million.

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The strong market debut followed a few days of difficulty for SolarCity and its underwriters, none of whom were fully prepared for the issues in bringing a clean-technology company to market.

SolarCity, whose backers include Tesla founder Elon Musk, prides itself on being different. It finances and installs rooftop solar systems in exchange for long-term monthly payments from its customers and prefers to think of itself as an energy company, rather than just a solar company. The solar leases typically run 20 years.

SolarCity had expected to raise as much as $151 million, at $13 to $15 a share. Investors were interested in the company and its prospects, but not particularly hungry for a lot of risk.

The company ultimately raised about $92 million.

That prompted the company to pursue a dramatic reset of its expectations. Because the new price was going to be well below previous public guidance, the offering had to be pushed back a day, said chief executive Lyndon Rive.

‘‘I still think this would have been a very good deal at $15,’’ he said. ‘‘But there was a lot of demand at $8.’’

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