(Adds details on Total guarantee, CEO comment, analyst comment)
By Nichola Groom
May 9 U.S. solar company SunPower Corp
reported a smaller-than-expected loss on Tuesday but forecast
second-quarter earnings below analysts' estimates.
Shares of the company were down 7.2 percent at $6.60 in
after-market trading after closing at $7.11 on the Nasdaq. The
stock had rallied more than 3 percent before the announcement.
A global glut of solar panels has pushed prices down
substantially over the last year, harming profit margins for
manufacturers and developers like SunPower. The company has been
working to cut costs and preserve cash as it navigates the weak
In a vote of confidence for the company, SunPower said its
majority owner, France's Total, had agreed to
guarantee up to $100 million of its $300 million credit revolver
facility through August of 2019.
SunPower Chief Executive Tom Werner said the guarantee by
Total would enable the solar company to invest confidently in
new technologies such as energy storage or next-generation
"It allows us to have insurance for our long term cash
forecast," Werner said in an interview.
SunPower forecast a second-quarter loss of $135 million to
$110 million, bigger than analysts' average estimate of $101.2
million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov blamed a shift in the
timing of the sale of some of SunPower's Chilean projects to the
end of the year for the disappointing second-quarter forecast.
"This is a project developer which means there is always
complexity with revenue recognition," Molchanov said.
The company, which makes solar panels and builds everything
from residential rooftop installations to large, utility-scale
solar power systems in the United States and abroad, has posted
its seventh consecutive loss, on a GAAP basis.
SunPower said its net loss attributable to shareholders
widened to $134.5 million, or 97 cents per share, in the first
quarter ended April 2, from $85.4 million, or 62 cents per
share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company lost 36 cents per share, while
analysts on average had estimated a loss of 51 cents, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue rose 3.7 percent to $399.1 million. Total cost
of revenue rose to $430.0 million from $333.3 million.
(Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru and Nichola Groom in
Los Angeles; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Phil Berlowitz)