SunPower Chops Guidance, Will Fire 1,200

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SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) reported second-quarter 2016 results after markets closed Tuesday. The solar panel maker reported an adjusted diluted net loss of $0.22 per share on adjusted revenue of $401.8 million. In the same period a year ago, SunPower reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.18 on revenue of $376.71 million. Second-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for a net loss per share of $0.24 and $345.08 million in revenue.

On a GAAP basis, revenues totaled $420.5 million and the per-share net loss came to $0.51. Adjustments to revenues included a loss of $1.4 million on yieldco 8point3 Energy Partners L.P. (NASDAQ: CAFD) and a loss of $40.1 million on utility and power plant projects. Positive adjustments to net income included $18.04 million on the yieldco and $16.5 million on stock-based compensation expense, among other things.

The big news from SunPower Tuesday afternoon was a restructuring that will include a workforce reduction of about 1,200 employees and charges totaling $30 million to $45 million. The company said a “substantial” portion of the charges will be incurred in the third quarter and more than half the charges will be in cash. Operating expenses are expected to drop by about 10% following the layoffs.

SunPower revised its guidance as a result of the restructuring. The company now expects full-year adjusted revenue of $3.0 billion to $3.2 billion and gross margin of 10.5% to 12.5%. Prior guidance called for adjusted revenue of $3.2 billion to $3.4 billion and gross margin of 14% to 16%.

The company guided third-quarter adjusted revenues at $750 to $850 million, gross margin of 16.5% to 18.5% and EBITDA of $115 to $140 million.

Consensus third-quarter estimates call for revenues of $837.01 million and earnings per share of $0.81. For the full year, analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.36 and revenues of $3.29 billion. Those numbers are headed down after SunPower’s new guidance.

CEO Tom Werner said:

[W]hile the long-term fundamentals for solar power remain strong, we see a number of near-term industry challenges, primarily in our power plant segment, that we expect to impact our business and financial performance in the second half of 2016.  The extension of the Investment Tax Credit, as well as the bonus depreciation credit, while beneficial to the long-term health of the industry, has reduced the urgency to complete new solar projects by the end of 2016, with many customers adopting a longer-term timeline for project completion.  Additionally, near-term economic returns have deteriorated due to aggressive PPA pricing by new market entrants, including a number of large, global independent power companies.  We are also seeing customer project IRRs rising in the near term as buyers have increased their hurdle rates due to industry conditions.  Finally, the continued market disruption in the YieldCo environment has impacted our assumptions related to monetizing deferred profits.

SunPower’s shares traded down about 12% in after-hours trading, at $13.01 in a 52-week range of $13.29 to $31.10. A new low is definitely possible Wednesday morning. Thomson Reuters had a consensus 12-month price target of $28.92 before results were announced.