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SunPower swings to Q4 net profit

Sunpower modules. Author: pgegreenenergy. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

February 13 (Renewables Now) - US solar company SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) returned to a GAAP net profit in the closing quarter of 2019 and in the full year but guided for a negative result for the first quarter of 2020.

The solar panel manufacturer and installer closed the fourth quarter of 2019 with a GAAP net profit of USD 5.4 million (EUR 4.96m), against a loss of USD 15 million in the third quarter and USD 158.2 million in the year-ago period. Excluding certain net adjustments, the non-GAAP net profit was also positive, at USD 35.8 million, as compared with a loss of USD 30.3 million a year back.

Overall, the company boasted “solid” fourth-quarter results, in spite of some execution challenges in the commercial direct business, said Tom Werner, CEO and chairman of the board. More details about SunPower’s financial performance are available in the table below.

Figures in USD, unless otherwise noted Q4 2019 Q4 2018 2019 2018
GAAP revenue 603.8m 456.8m 1.86bn 1.73bn
GAAP gross margin in % 15.8 (1.7) 6.8 (17.2)
GAAP net profit (loss) 5.4m (158.2m) 22.2m (811.1m)
GAAP net profit (loss) per diluted share 0.03 (1.12) 0.15 (5.76)
Non-GAAP revenue 607m 525.4m 1.99bn 1.82bn
Non-GAAP gross margin in % 20.8 6.9 14 7.5
Non-GAAP net profit (loss) 35.8m (30.3m) (42.2m) (101.4m)
Non-GAAP net profit (loss) per diluted share 0.23 (0.21) (0.29) (0.72)
Adjusted EBITDA 71.5m 13.6m 97.8m 111.2m
MW Recognised 707 461 2,455 1,355

The SunPower Energy Services (SPES) unit, which combined the company’s residential and commercial dealer operations, enjoyed a strong fourth-quarter. The residential business generated record revenue with a 27% increase in MWs installed as compared to the last quarter of 2018.

SunPower Technologies (SPT) contributed with better-than-expected results in the fourth quarter, mainly thanks to increased demand in the global distributed generation markets. DG shipments grew almost 75% in 2019.

The separation of SunPower’s international photovoltaic (PV) cell and panel manufacturing operations into a new Singapore-based company, called Maxeon Solar Technologies, is on track to be finalised in the second quarter of 2020. The company announced this in December 2019, saying it plans to become a North America-focused distributed generation, storage and energy services company.

The following table contains SunPower's financial outlook.

Figures in USD, unless otherwise noted Q1 2020 full 2020
GAAP revenue 435m-470m 2.1bn-2.3bn
GAAP gross margin in % 3-6  N/A
GAAP net profit (loss) (85m)-(70m) (195m)-(145m)
Non-GAAP revenue 435m-470m 2.1bn-2.3bn
Non-GAAP gross margin in % 9-12 N/A
Adjusted EBITDA (loss) (15m)-0 125m-175m
MW Deployed 520-570 2,500-2,750

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.920)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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