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| 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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Aug. 7, 2014, 10:05 AM
- SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE) recognized revenue from 54MW of solar systems in Q2, below guidance of 60MW-80MW. But it also retained 164MW on its balance sheet, better than guidance of 100MW-120MW.
- The company now expects to finish 1GW-1.15GW of solar systems in 2014, at the high end of prior guidance of 900MW-1.15GW. Revenue is expected to be recognized from 290MW-310MW (down from 460MW-580MW), and 710MW-830MW are expected to be retained (up from 440MW-570MW).
- In addition, SunEdison forecasts average 2014 project pricing of $2.50-$3.00/watt, better than prior guidance of $2.40-$2.75. That's providing a lift to EPS, which beat consensus by $0.40 in Q2.
- Solar project pipeline rose by 700MW Q/Q in Q2 to 4.3GW, and backlog by 100MW to 1.1GW. 475MW of the pipeline is under construction, up from 463MW at the end of Q1 and 200MW a year ago.
- Gross margin was 4.6% vs. 3.8% in Q1 and 5.9% a year ago. An aggressive construction pace led free cash flow to total -$80.2M. SunEdison ended Q2 with $954.7M in cash/equivalents, and $5.39B in debt. ~$3.5B of the debt is directly tied to solar systems financing.
- Peers SunPower (SPWR +4.2%) and SolarCity (SCTY +2.8%) are also rallying. SolarCity reports after the bell.
- Q2 results, PR
Aug. 1, 2014, 12:26 PM
- Solar stocks are underperforming (TAN -4%) amid a market selloff after SunPower (SPWR -8.5%) posted mixed Q2 results and provided Q3/2014 guidance ranges with midpoints below consensus.
- SunPower also announced it's building a new plant (Fab 5) that could go live in 2017 and eventually produce 700MW+/year of modules, boosting its capacity by over 50%. "Our share has been in single digits for a while and demand for the last 24 months suggests that we can expand share," says CEO Tom Werner.
- The announcement comes 6 weeks after SolarCity (SCTY -3.5%) unveiled plans to build a 1GW+ module plant with newly-acquired Silevo's help, and said it will later build "one or more significantly larger plants at an order of magnitude greater annual production capacity."
- Minimal capacity investments, together with rising U.S./Asian demand, have helped module prices stabilize following gut-wrenching declines in prior years.
- Also: SunPower stated on its CC (transcript) it hasn't decided whether to create a solar project YieldCo similar to SunEdison's (SUNE -4.3%) TerraForm Power (TERP -4.7%), which recently turned in a strong IPO. "It does not look like the company is likely to make a decision anytime soon," says Raymond James.
- Nonetheless, Brean has upgraded SunPower to Buy, citing optimism about strong demand and healthy pricing.
- Other notable decliners: FSLR -3.6%. TSL -8.4%. JKS -6%. CSIQ -5.6%. CSUN -5.7%. YGE -5%. SOL -4.5%. ENPH -5.8%. RGSE -4.5%. HSOL -3.9%. JASO -4.4%.
Jul. 31, 2014, 4:52 PM
- SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) expects Q3 revenue of $600M-$650M and EPS of $0.15-$0.35; the midpoints are below a consensus of $636.8M and $0.29. Full-year guidance is for revenue of $2.5B-$2.65B and EPS of $1.10-$1.40; the midpoints are below a consensus of $2.59B and $1.31.
- Q2 gross margin was 19.5%, down from Q1's 22% but flat Y/Y. GM is expected to fall to 17%-19% in Q3, but is also expected to be in a 19%-21% range for the whole of 2014.
- SunPower expects to recognize revenue in 2014 from 1.225GW-1.3GW of solar product sales. The company's total pipeline is at ~8.4GW - 3GW in the Americas, 2.6GW in Asia-Pac, 2GW in the Middle East/Africa, 800MW in Europe.
- The Americas were 72% of Q2 revenue, EMEA 10%, and Asia-Pac 18%. Solar products revenue totaled $237M, systems revenue $338M, and lease revenue $33M. 311MW of solar cells were produced, up from 306MW in Q1 and 296MW a year ago.
- Q2 results, PR, datasheet, slides
Jul. 31, 2014, 4:18 PM
May. 7, 2014, 11:45 AM
- A Q1 beat and full-year guidance hike aren't enough to keep First Solar (FSLR -4.2%) from selling off. Possibly contributing: In spite of the guidance hike, First Solar stated on its CC (transcript) Q2 EPS "will be significantly lower" than a $0.60 consensus due to project timings; that implies 2014 results will be very back-end loaded.
- Also: First Solar disclosed in its earnings slides (.pdf) its expected future systems/3rd-party module revenue is down $400M from the end of 2013 to $7.1B. However, expected module shipments are up by 100MW to 2.8GW, and potential booking opportunities have risen by 1.6GW to 12.2GW.
- Module production totaled 441MW, -1% Q/Q and +19% Y/Y. Conversion efficiency rose 10 bps Q/Q and 60 bps Y/Y to 13.5%, with lead-line efficiency rising 30 bps Q/Q and 120 bps Y/Y to 14.2%. The company is aiming for 18.1%-18.9% lead-line efficiency by 2017.
- Other solar stocks are also off (TAN -2.8%), as investors continue showing a take-no-prisoners attitude towards momentum stocks in general. Canadian Solar (CSIQ +0.3%) has given back the premarket gains it saw following a Q1 guidance hike.
- Notable decliners: SCTY -8.8%. SUNE -7%. TSL -5.5%. CSUN -5.1%. YGE -4.8%. SPWR -4.2%. DQ -5.7%.
Apr. 24, 2014, 4:36 PM
- Pandora (P) expects Q2 revenue of $213M-$218M and EPS of $0.00-$0.03, below a consensus of $219.3M and $0.05. Full-year guidance is for revenue of $880M-$900M (up $10M from prior guidance) and EPS of $0.14-$0.18 (up $0.01) vs. a consensus of $892.3M and $0.16. Shares -5% AH. (Q1 results, PR)
- SunPower (SPWR) expects Q2 revenue of $575M-$625M and EPS of $0.15-$0.35, largely below a consensus of $628.3M and $0.30. Full-year guidance is stronger: revenue of $2.5B-$2.65B and EPS of $1.10-$1.40 vs. a consensus of $2.55B and $1.21. Shares +0.9% AH. (Q1 results, PR)
- Broadcom (BRCM) expects Q2 revenue of $2B-$2.1B vs. a $2.07B consensus. Gross margin is expected to rise 75-175 bps Q/Q. Shares -0.2% AH. (Q1 results, PR)
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