North Coast Solar Stocks

October 22, 2009

SunPower profit tops Wall St, outlook disappoints

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:30 pm

Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:30pm EDT

* Q3 EPS 42 cents vs Street view of 40 cents per share

* Q3 revenue of $466 mln vs $378 mln a year ago

* Full-year EPS forecast trimmed to lower end of range

* Shares down 13 pct at $29.25 after hours

By Laura Isensee and Matt Daily

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Oct 22 (Reuters) – SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) posted better-than-expected quarterly profit but trimmed its full-year earnings forecast to the low end of its previous range, sending its shares down 13 percent.

SunPower, like other makers of photovoltaic solar modules that turn sunlight into electricity, has struggled in the past year as a glut of panels pressured prices.

Its forecast disappointed investors hoping that the market would rebound by the end of the year.

“Although the company indicated that demand is strong, that is somewhat in conflict to what most investors think,” J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Blansett said in an email.

Average selling prices for its panels fell by less than 10 percent in the third quarter from the second, SunPower’s Chief Executive Tom Werner told a conference call. The company expects a similar decline in the fourth quarter.

Werner said SunPower was among the best positioned companies in the sector to secure financing from banks for new projects, and that new sources of money were beginning to replace some of the financial players that pulled back during the credit crisis.

“The mix of investors that are financing these projects are completely different than a year ago, and that’s going to take time,” Werner said.

PROFIT SLIPS

Net profit for the third quarter ended Sept. 27 fell to $12.8 million, or 13 cents per share, from $24 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding amortization of non-tangible assets, stock-based compensation and non-cash interest expense, SunPower’s earnings per share of 42 cents beat analysts’ forecast for 40 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 24 percent to $466 million and topped analysts’ expectations for $420 million.

SunPower said it now expected full-year net income to be between $1.15 to $1.25 per share, the lower end of its previous range of $1.15 to $1.60 per share.

It said revenue for year would range between $1.425 billion and $1.50 billion, compared with its July forecast for $1.35 billion to $1.7 billion.

Shares of SunPower fell 13 percent to $29.05 after hours after closing at $33.30 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee and Matt Daily in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

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