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SunPower Second Quarter Revenue Down, Revises 2015 Guidance Downward, But…

US solar manufacturer SunPower has released its second quarter financials, with steady but lacklustre revenue, and it revised guidance downward 50% on 2014.

SunPower released its figures on Tuesday to investors, with a second quarter revenue of $381 million. This is down slightly on 2015’s first quarter revenue of $440.9 million, but down significantly on the second quarter a year earlier, which registered GAAP revenue of $507.9 million. Net income was up, however, with $6.5 million, compared to the first quarter’s $9.6 million loss, but still down on Q2’14’s $14.1 million income.

SunPower also finally provided full-year guidance for the first time this year, expecting GAAP revenue for the full year 2015 to reach between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion, with a gross margin of 10% to 12%, and a net loss per diluted share of $2.35 to $2.05. This compares quite unfavourably with 2014’s guidance, provided at the same time last year, of revenue of between $2.55 billion and $2.70 billion, gross margin of 20% to 22%, and net income per diluted share of $0.75 to $1.05.

However, much of SunPower’s lacklustre 2015 can be laid at the feet of the burgeoning joint venture yieldco project, 8point3 Energy Partners, that it is undertaking with joint venture partner First Solar. SunPower and First Solar announced the joint partnership venture earlier this year, and then announced its initial public offering for 8point3 Energy Partners in June. As with all the renewable energy yieldcos that are popping up across the global industry, 8point3 Energy Partners is set to “own and operate a portfolio of selected solar energy generation assets.”

And it is in 8point3 Energy Partners that SunPower executives are placing their faith.

“SunPower achieved several extremely significant accomplishments during our second quarter,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO.  “First, we launched 8point3 Energy Partners, our joint YieldCo vehicle with First Solar.  We believe 8point3 Energy Partners will provide us a significant long-term cost of capital advantage and enhance the scale and predictability of our future cash flows.

“Our execution, as well as strong demand for our industry leading products, enabled us to post solid financial results for the quarter,” said Chuck Boynton, SunPower CFO. “Additionally, we launched 8point3 Energy Partners, which we believe will significantly lower our long-term cost of capital while providing sustainable EBITDA growth for our existing shareholders. Our balance sheet remains strong and we successfully managed our working capital during the quarter while further investing in our global pipeline, developing new products and adding assets per our holdco strategy.”

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