Wed, Sep. 30, 6:44 PM
- Initially off following its FQ3 report, 8point3 Energy (NASDAQ:CAFD) has since risen to $10.95. The First Solar/SunPower (FSLR, SPWR) YieldCo still trades well below its $21 June IPO price.
- 8point3 has used its report to declare a $0.157/share prorated (post-IPO) distribution for FQ3, and forecast a $0.22/share FQ4 distribution (up 3.5% Q/Q after adjusting for prorating). Cash available for distribution is expected to rise to $14.8M-$15.2M from FQ3's $6.7M, and GAAP revenue to $4.9M-$5.1M from $3.1M.
- Financials: FQ3 (ended Aug. 31) operating costs/expenses totaled $3.8M, nearly flat with the 3-month period ending Sep. 28, 2014. CAFD ended the quarter with $43.4M in cash, and $297.1M in long-term debt.
- CEO Chuck Boynton: "As of the end of the third quarter 2015, we had 301 MW in production and expect an additional 131 MW of projects to reach commercial operation by the end of the year. Specifically, our 108 MW Quinto project remains on track to reach commercial operation on Oct. 31, 2015 and is already generating test energy prior to commercial operation. Once our initial portfolio reaches commercial operation this year, our assets are expected to generate approximately $70 million in annual CAFD with an approximately 22-year average remaining contract term."
- FQ3 results, PR
Tue, Aug. 4, 4:30 PM
- In addition to beating Q2 estimates, First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is guiding for 2015 revenue of $3.5B-$3.6B and EPS of $3.30-$3.60, above a consensus of $3.44B and $2.36.
- As always, the company's quarterly/annual numbers depend a lot on the timing of revenue recognition for solar project sales. Q2 growth is attributed to "increased revenue recognition on the Silver State South project and the sale of majority interests in the North Star and Lost Hills-Blackwell projects."
- Bookings/pipeline: Q2 project bookings totaled 537MW, bringing the YTD total to 1.4GW. Expected future module shipments fell by 100MW Q/Q to 3.8GW, and expected future systems/module revenue by $600M to $7B. However, potential bookings opportunities rose by 2.7GW to 16.7GW (primarily early-stage).
- Module production: Output rose 4% Q/Q and 26% Y/Y to 563MW. Capacity utilization was 85% vs. 87% in Q1 and 80% a year ago. Average conversion efficiency rose 70 bps Q/Q and 140 bps Y/Y to 15.4%, with a best-line efficiency of 16.2%.
- Financials: Gross margin (affected by deal timings) rose to 18.4% from 8.3% in Q1 and 17% a year ago; Q3 GM guidance is at 21%-22%. R&D spend fell 10% Y/Y to $30M; SG&A rose 23% to $71M. Free cash flow was -$47.3M. First Solar ended Q2 with $1.78B in cash/investments, and $300M in long-term debt.
- First Solar has jumped to $49.29 AH. SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE) is up 2.8% to $23.07, and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) up 1.9% to $27.23. SunEdison reports on Thursday.
- First Solar's Q2 results, PR, slides (.pdf)
Tue, Jul. 28, 6:38 PM
- Though SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) missed Q2 sales estimates (while slightly beating on EPS), the company forecasts 2015 revenue of $2.4B-$2.6B and EPS of $1.50-$1.80, above a consensus of $2.2B and $1.00.
- In addition, full-year EBITDA guidance has been hiked by $25M to $425M-$475M, and ~20% 2016 EBITDA growth is forecast.
- Q3 revenue guidance of $400M-$450M is below a $640.9M consensus. SunPower notes the forecast reflects the impact of its HoldCo strategy, through which it's retaining/operating certain solar project assets rather than selling them and recognizing the revenue, as well as deferrals due to real estate accounting.
- Top-line figures: SunPower recognized revenue on 194MW of solar sales, down from 219MW in Q1 and 312MW a year ago - 90MW were from solar plants, 39MW from commercial sales, and 65MW from residential sales. Power plants accounted for 43% of revenue, residential 40%, and commercial 17%.
- Metrics: MW deployed totaled 315MW (much higher than the recognized 194MW) vs. 266MW in Q1 and 316MW a year ago. Q3 and full-year deployment guidance is respectively at 300MW-330MW and 1.25GW-1.3GW, and SunPower expects a 30% deployment CAGR from 2015-2019. 340MW of solar cells were produced, up from 319MW in Q1 and 311MW a year ago. The global project pipeline is above 12GW.
- Financials: Gross margin (non-GAAP) fell to 17.6% from 20.5 in Q1 and 19.5% a year ago. GAAP operating expenses rose 2% Y/Y to $103.8M. SunPower ended Q2 with $694M in cash, $12M in short-term debt, $225M in long-term debt, and $694M in convertible debt.
- Shares have risen to $26.30 AH.
- Q2 results, PR, slides (.pdf), datasheet (.pdf)
Tue, Jul. 28, 4:14 PM
Thu, Apr. 30, 5:57 PM
- Though SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) insists its "underlying business fundamentals remain strong for 2015," the company is refraining from providing 2015 guidance "until the company can finalize the estimates regarding the impact" of its 8point3 Energy YieldCo JV with First Solar. The company has guided for 315MW-350MW of Q2 module deployments, and 200MW-230MW of module revenue recognition.
- No explanation is provided in SunPower's earnings release for its Q1 revenue miss - First Solar just cited (among other things) the retaining of projects for the YieldCo as a factor behind its Q1 miss.
- Revenue recognition timings led power plant revenue to fall 49% Y/Y to $226.2M. Commercial solar revenue fell 36% to $49.1M. Residential solar fell 6% to $155.3M.
- Gross margin (non-GAAP) was 20.5% vs. 20.4% in Q4 and 22% a year ago. 319MW of modules were produced vs. 313MW in Q4 and 306MW a year ago.
- Shares have fallen to $30.78 AH.
- Q1 results, PR, slides (.pdf), datasheet (.pdf)
Thu, Apr. 30, 4:06 PM
Tue, Feb. 24, 1:16 PM
- SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) states in its Q4 earnings slides (.pdf) its planned solar project YieldCo with First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) will be a 50/50 JV, and promises it will lower the companies' cost of capital and improve their financing options for solar projects.
- Meanwhile, Deutsche's Vishal Shah (a long-time solar bull) has upgraded First Solar to Buy ahead of this afternoon's Q4 report, and declares the YieldCo could be "one of the best growth stories out there."
- Under "conservative assumptions," he sees SunPower and First Solar respectively having 640MW and 755MW of projects they can contribute, resulting in an equity value of $2.8B. Assuming an 85% payout ratio, Shah sees the YieldCo providing a 5% dividend yield. He adds the companies could each contribute another ~1.5GW of projects (via their pipelines) by the end of 2016.
- Raymond James' Pavel Molchanov compares the alliance to a Duke/UNC or Coke/Pepsi partnership. "By joining forces, First Solar and SunPower can create an asset base that is even larger ... With the S-1 set to be filed in 1Q, we see no reason why the IPO couldn’t take place in 2015."
- The YieldCo news is easily overshadowing SunPower's light Q1 guidance: Revenue of $410M-$460M and EPS of $0.05-$0.15 vs. a consensus of $544.7M and $0.25. Though the company says its "business fundamentals for 2015 remain strong," it's withdrawing its full-year guidance until YieldCo plans are finalized.
- SunPower recognized revenue on 293MW of solar systems in Q4, a little below guidance of 300MW-340MW. It expects to recognize 240MW-270MW in seasonally weak Q1. Q4 gross margin was 20.4%, +370 bps Q/Q and flat Y/Y. Q1 GM guidance is at 18%-20%.
Tue, Feb. 24, 8:02 AM
Mon, Feb. 23, 5:30 PM
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Wed, Jan. 21, 6:08 PM| Wed, Jan. 21, 6:08 PM | 1 Comment
Nov. 13, 2014, 9:21 AM
- Ahead of its analyst day talks, SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) is guiding for 2015 revenue of $2.4B-$2.6B and EPS of $1.10-$1.50, below a consensus of $2.8B and $1.69.
- At the same time, the company now expects Q4 revenue of $1.12B-$1.17B and EPS of $1.00-$1.25 (well above a consensus of $605M and $0.23) due to "the benefit of approximately $450 million in revenue and $0.80 - $0.90 in earnings per share related to the real estate accounting treatment of its 579-MW Solar Star projects."
- SunPower expects to recognize revenue on 1.3GW-1.4GW in solar sales next year - its 2014 guidance is at 1.26GW-1.3GW - and to triple its upstream (cell/module production) solar capacity over the next five years. The 2015 capex budget is at $300M-$350M.
- The company's YieldCo plans remain "under review."
- Analyst day talks start at 10AM ET (webcast).
- Analyst day slides (.pdf)
Nov. 11, 2014, 12:15 PM
- Newly-public Vivint Solar (VSLR -21.6%) has nosedived after missing Q3 EPS estimates and guiding for Q4 revenue of $5.5M-$6.5M, below a $7.3M consensus. Installations are expected to fall to 45MW-47MW from Q3's 49MW.
- Rivals SolarCity (SCTY -3%) and SunPower (SPWR -3.2%) are following Vivint lower, as are several other solar names. RGSE -6.2%. ENPH -5.7%. CSIQ -2.5%. JKS -2.2%. DQ -4.1%. CSUN -2.7%.
- Solar ETFs: KWT, TAN
Nov. 7, 2014, 10:54 AM
- First Solar (FSLR -10.3%) has dived towards $50 after missing Q3 estimates (if one excludes a $0.26/share one-time tax benefit) and lowering its full-year revenue guidance. Also not helping: First Solar disclosed on its CC (transcript) it's not pursuing a solar project YieldCo at this time.
- Nonetheless, the company does think "the ownership and operation of whole or partial interest in select solar-generating assets does have a role as a component part of [First Solar's] overall business model," and says it "likely will begin providing greater visibility into our retained ownership interest by reporting it as a separate segment commencing in 2015."
- When asked by a Baird analyst about the YieldCo decision, CEO Jim Hughes admitted First Solar has "a note of caution about the overall market position as we exit 2016 and move into 2017." Several other analysts also pressed the company about the various factors (growth expectations, cost of capital, taxes, etc.) that went into its YieldCo decision.
- UBS (Neutral) has lowered its 2015 EPS estimate by $0.35 to $5.00, citing opex growth and the potential for First Solar to retain equity interests in projects (rather than fully selling them). "We believe the market for solar assets has become more competitive and that the arb opportunity has tightened."
- Needham (Buy) admits First Solar's approach to monetizing solar projects gives it more flexibility, but it also thinks "a yieldco would ultimately create more shareholder value." It's still a fan of the company's execution, and also likes its plans to increase module manufacturing capacity by up to 46% next year.
- SunPower (SPWR -1.7%), which will share details about its asset monetization plans at its Nov. 13 analyst day, is also lower.
Oct. 29, 2014, 11:25 AM
- SunPower (SPWR -4.6%) expects Q4 revenue of $575M-$625M and EPS of $0.15-$0.30, mostly below a consensus of $653.4M and $0.30.
- The company recognized revenue on 323MW of solar sales in Q3 - that's up from 311MW in Q2 and 252MW a year ago, but below guidance of 325MW-360MW. It expects to recognize 300MW-340MW in Q4.
- Gross margin was 16.7%, down from 19.5% in Q2 and 19.1% a year ago, and slightly below a 17%-19% guidance range. Q4 GM guidance is at 19%-21%. GAAP opex rose 8% Y/Y to $85.9M.
- Americas revenue (79% of total revenue) +38% Y/Y to $559.3M; Asia-Pac +6% to $100.3M; EMEA -63% to $44.6M. North American residential bookings rose over 50% Q/Q; Japan drove Asia-Pac growth.
- Solar product sales -6% to $210M; solar systems +30% to $444M.
- 2015 guidance will be provided at SunPower's Nov. 13 analyst day, as will an "overview of the company's asset monetization strategy" (a HoldCo reference?).
- Q3 results, PR, slides, datasheet
Oct. 29, 2014, 8:02 AM
Oct. 28, 2014, 5:30 PM
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