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SunPower Reports First Quarter Loss

US solar power company SunPower has reported a net loss in its first quarter earnings, despite strong manufacturing capacity.

SunPower-6The California-based solar PV manufacturer published its first quarter earnings report this week, but it seems that investors were already preparing for the worst, as the company’s share price has dropped steadily all week.

SunPower’s (GAAP) revenue was up ($384.9 million) on the fourth quarter, 2015 ($374.4 million), but down significantly on the same quarter a year earlier ($440.9 million).

“Our first quarter results reflect solid execution against our long term strategy,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO, who added; “In our upstream solar cell and panel manufacturing operations, we delivered strong yields and record panel output, and we continue to ramp volume at our new Fab 4 cell manufacturing facility.  During the quarter, we also began commercial shipments of our new, lower cost, high efficiency Performance Series panel product line and we are on track to ramp volume significantly starting in the third quarter.”

Earlier in the year, SunPower also announced that it was manufacturing all of its direct-current E-Series and X-Series solar PV panels to meet Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver standards.

SunPower was involved through the quarter in a number of “key” US projects, “including our 100-megawatt (MW) project for NV Energy, the 102-MW Henrietta power plant and our 68-MW project for Stanford University.”

However, despite strong manufacturing and development, SunPower still found themselves recording a net loss of $85 million for the quarter, and a net loss per share of $0.62.

The company expects revenue of $290 million to $340 million, MW deployed between 360 MW and 385 MW, a gross margin of between 10% and 12%, and a net loss of between $90 million and $65 million: the second quarter GAAP guidance includes the impact of SunPower’s HoldCo asset strategy, and revenue and timing deferrals due to real estate accounting (which allows its non-GAAP guidance to be a little healthier; revenue of between $310 million and $360 million, gross margin of between 12% and 14%, and EBITDA of $0 to $25).

For the fiscal year 2016, SunPower expects GAAP revenue of between $2.8 billion and $3.0 billion, a gross margin of 13% to 15%, and a net income of $0 to $50 million.

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