Solar Panel Maker SunPower Plans Cost Cutting

Nov 09, 2016

SunPower, the No. 2 U.S. solar panel maker, reported smaller-than-expected quarterly revenue, and the company said it would boost efforts to rein in costs.

The company, which said it was seeing a significant near-term market dislocation, expected the cost-cutting measures to improve margins and reduce 2017 annual operating expenses to about $350 million.

SunPower said it would host a conference call on Dec. 7 to provide additional details related to the cost-cutting initiatives.

The company on Wednesday also cut its full-year revenue forecast as it expects to deploy lower gigawatts.

The company trimmed its adjusted revenue forecast to $2.6 billion-$2.8 billion, from $3 billion-$3.2 billion it expected earlier.

SunPower, which said in August it would cut about 15% of its workforce as it realigns its power plant business and manufacturing operations, said it expected to deploy 1.325-1.355 gigawatts (GW), down from its previous forecast of 1.45-1.65 GW.

Net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to $40.5 million, or 29 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Oct. 2, from $56.3 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 68 cents per share, way ahead of analysts' average expectation of 38 cents.

The company, majority owned by French energy giant Total SA , said revenue jumped 91.8% to $729.3 million, largely helped by higher revenue from its power plant business.

Analysts on average had expected revenue $801.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Solar companies have been hard hit after customers delayed purchases of solar panels expecting a further decline in solar panel prices.

SunPower's shares fell to a near 4-year low in regular trading following Republican Donald Trump's surprise win in the U.S. presidential election.

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Analysts said a Trump presidency and a Republican legislature could result in uncertainty in the solar industry and reduction in many Federal-level solar incentives.

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