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SunPower Reports Third Quarter 2015 Results


SunPower Corp. recently announced financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended Sept. 27, 2015.

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“Our strong quarterly results reflect the continued success of our customer first, complete solution strategy as we executed well on our project commitments and exceeded our key financial targets for the quarter,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO.  “Demand trends in both the power plant and distributed generation segments remain robust and we are well positioned to capitalize on positive market fundamentals for 2016.   Operationally, we met our cell and balance of systems cost targets and shipments of our industry leading technology now exceed one million cells per day.  With Fab 4 scheduled for large volume production next year, we believe we will have the capacity to meet customer demand for our high efficiency, high quality solutions.

“In the power plant segment, we successfully met our commitments and further built out our holdco asset base in preparation for project drop downs to 8point3 Energy Partners.  Specifically, our 135-megawatt (MW) Quinto project, which is now owned by 8point3 Energy Partners, remains on plan for non-GAAP revenue recognition in the fourth quarter.  Additionally, we completed the construction of our 8-MW Riverside Public Utilities project as well as expanded our international footprint with the completion of our 12-MW Roc du Doun power plant in France and 40 MW of projects developed for Apple in China.   Finally, we were awarded a 20-MW project for Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative in Arizona, scheduled for delivery in 2016.

“We also executed well in our distributed generation business as demand for our industry leading solutions remained solid during the quarter.  In our commercial segment, our new and repeat customer bookings trend remained positive and we see strong fundamentals continuing through 2016.  Our 13-MW University of California Davis project, owned by 8point3 Energy Partners, achieved commercial operation date in September and contributed to our strong financial performance for the quarter.  We also launched our Helix platform, the world’s first fully-integrated solar solution for commercial customers.  Designed for the rooftop, carport and commercial ground-mount markets, Helix delivers significantly lower costs and improved reliability while accelerating installation times.  When combined with our proprietary energy information services offering, this solution gives customers unprecedented visibility and control over their solar energy production and consumption.

“Our residential business was our best performing segment for the quarter.  In particular, North American demand remains high as customers continue to choose SunPower for our industry leading quality, reliability and performance.  As a result, non-GAAP revenue and gross margin exceeded our forecasts.  Additionally, our PV-integrated residential microinverter offering is gaining significant traction in the marketplace and we continue to invest in our next generation solutions including building out our Smart Energy platform,” Werner concluded.

“The solid execution of our downstream strategy enabled us to post strong financial results for the quarter, including generating $54 million in EBITDA,” said Chuck Boynton, SunPower CFO.  “In relation to working capital, we increased inventory in the third quarter in preparation to meet our significant 2016 backlog while adding assets to our holdco asset base.  With solid industry fundamentals, a diversified end channel strategy, new product introductions and further commitment to our manufacturing cost reduction roadmaps, we are well positioned for profitable growth in 2016.”

Third quarter fiscal 2015 non-GAAP results include net adjustments that, in the aggregate, increase net income by $76.8 million, including $19.4 million related to 8point3 Energy Partners, ($0.5) million related to utility and power plant projects, ($7.5) million related to the First Philippine Solar Corporation arbitration ruling, $14.9 million related to stock-based compensation expense, $1.0 million related to our November 2014 Restructuring Plan, $1.2 million related to the 8point3 Energy Partners Initial Public Offering , $1.3 million related to other adjustments, and $47.0 million related to tax effect.

Financial Outlook

The company’s fourth quarter fiscal 2015 non-GAAP guidance is as follows: revenue of $1.25 billion to $1.30 billion, gross margin of 28 percent to 29 percent, EBITDA of $300 to $325 million and megawatts deployed in the range of 275 MW to 305 MW.  On a GAAP basis, the company expects revenue of $300 million to $350 million, gross margin of 5 percent to 6 percent and net loss per diluted share of $1.25 to $1.15.  Fourth quarter 2015 GAAP guidance includes the impact of the company’s holdco strategy and deferrals due to real estate accounting.

For fiscal year 2015, the company’s non-GAAP expectations are as follows:  revenue of $2.50 billion to $2.55 billion, gross margin of 23 percent to 24 percent, net income per diluted share of $1.95 to $2.05, capital expenditures of $250 million to $300 million and gigawatts deployed in the range of 1.15 GW to 1.18 GW.  On a GAAP basis, the company expects 2015 revenue of $1.50 billion to $1.55 billion, gross margin of 15 percent to 16 percent and net loss per diluted share of $1.70 to $1.60.   Fiscal year 2015 GAAP guidance includes the impact of the company’s holdco strategy and deferrals due to real estate accounting.The company is also raising its fiscal year 2015 EBITDA guidance to $475 million to $500 million, an increase from its previous guidance of $425 million to $475 million.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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