Sunpower (SPWRA) Reports Mixed Results, Slashes Guidance, CFO Steps Down, Shares Down

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05:54:16 pm on November 3, 2011

It’s not getting any better for the solar industry in after hours action tonight.  Big US solar manufacturer Sunpower is reporting less than stellar results as well in addition to an announcement of a Q4 reorganization that has the CFO saying adios.  The company aims to cut costs by 10% next year. 

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Sunpower reported a decent profit on a non GAAP basis of .16/share which was ahead of the analyst estimate for .06/share, but revenues were a bit below the analyst expectation of $713 million at $705 million.  Margins continue to get squeezed and SPWRA’s gross margin is down 50% from the year ago quarter.   

Here are some highlights of comments made by CEO Tom Werner:

– maintained premium position in Residential & Commercial business while gaining market share in Germany and the US

– commenced production on the first line using step reduced cell manufacturing process

– while R&C business will show substantial growth over the year ago period, the growth is slower than originally anticipated

Looking ahead the company is forecasting 2011 revenue in the range of $2.4 – $2.45 billion and EPS in the (.05) – .20/share range.  Analysts were forecasting revenue of $2.79 billion and EPS of .73/share so quite a bit below.  It’s also a big cut from the guidance the company gave just last quarter when it said it expected conditions to improve in the 2nd half of the year.  Then, it expected full year 2011 EPS in the range of  .75 – 1.25 on revenues of $2.8 – $2.95 billion.

Technically, shares of SPWRA remain in a firm downtrend despite surging more than 50% in less than a month in October.  The 50 day moving average acted as tough resistance and remains so.  With the awful guidance numbers out of SPWRA, a return to the lows isn’t unlikely. 

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