Eye on SunPower's Q2 Earnings

 |  Includes: FSLR, SPWR
by: Greentech Media

by Eric Wesoff

SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWRA) (NASDAQ:SPWRB) reported its second quarter results Tuesday. Here's a quick rundown for the high-efficiency solar panel manufacturer and solar power provider.

SunPower's Q2 revenues were $384.2 million, up from last quarter's $347.3 million and significantly more than the $299.3 million in Q2 2009. Gross margin has also improved over last quarter and last year to 22.9 percent. (All figures GAAP unless otherwise noted). Net loss for the quarter was $6.2 million.

Second quarter highlights included the announcement of a world record 24.2 percent efficiency solar cell and a joint venture with AUO to operate the 1.4-gigawatt Fab 3 facility in Malaysia, which will begin solar cell production in the fourth quarter of this year.

SunPower quotes its recent and projected cost per watt:

  • Q4 2009 $1.91
  • Q4 2010 $1.71
  • Q4 2011 $1.48

Those numbers are significantly higher than industry averages and the industry leading $0.76 quoted by First Solar (NASDQ:FSLR) in its most recent quarter.

But SunPower also quotes an efficiency adjusted cost per watt versus thin film 11 percent efficient panels on fixed tilt. That would be with First Solar in mind, obviously. Here are the adjusted cost per watt numbers:

  • Q4 2009 $1.01
  • Q4 2010 $0.92
  • Q4 2011 $0.71

According to SunPower, efficiency adjustments consider the BoS and tracking benefits of high efficiency panels. When viewed through that lens -- things look a lot better for SunPower. SunPower's vertical integration and ownership of the customer does allow them the luxury of higher costs per watt and ASPs.

SunPower's 2010 guidance looks for a strong Q3 of $825 million to $1.025 billion and a 2010 total of $2 billion to $2.25 billion at a gross margin of 18 to 20 percent.

Disclosure: No positions