There are a scant few stocks that are up in 2020, but when we began Tuesday, March 10, Vivint Solar ($VSLR) shares had done the improbable and battled back market gravity. 

However, the Utah-based solar energy company's data makes us wonder how long Vivint can outshine other competitors. Its merger with a Softbank-backed special purpose acquisition company generated a big cash infusion - but it doesn't look like that's going to work hiring more workers (at least, yet). 

Likely in part thanks to the big cash infusion, Vivint shares have been on a roll lately, and are up about 90% over the last 12 months, with most of those gains coming after the SPAC deal was announced - and that's not counting the expected Tuesday morning pop the market woke up desperately needing. 

Sunrun and SunPower shares are each up over the trailing 12 months, heading into the open March 10. But they, just like Vivint, suffered a particularly precipitous drop on March 9. 

What both SunPower and Sunrun have to boast, is a hiring chart that's the polar opposite of what's happening with Vivint. Since the year began, with Sunrun, job postings rose about 69% and at SunPower, they're up 62%. It's notable that the stock gains of both companies have fallen fairly short of Vivint over the last 12 months. Often, companies hiring more - or slashing job postings - is a reflection on their expectations of growth. 

It's not a great time to be in an unprofitable business. When Vivint announces earnings, which is expected for end-of-day March 10, analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are looking for EPS losses of -$0.73. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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