UPDATE 1-SunPower profit falls on fewer solar plant installations

Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:25pm EDT

* Q2 revenue falls about 4 pct to $612.1 mln

* Sees Q3 adjusted earnings $0.15-$0.35/shr vs est $0.28

* Shares down 4 pct in extended trading (Adds forecast, CEO and analyst comment, shares)

By Tanvi Mehta

July 31 (Reuters) - SunPower Corp, the second-largest solar panel maker in the United States, reported a 30 percent fall in quarterly profit as it installed fewer solar plants, sending its shares down 4 percent in extended trading.

The company, majority-owned by French energy giant Total SA , forecast third-quarter revenue and adjusted profit largely below analysts' average estimate.

Revenue from solar power systems fell about 25 percent to $224.9 million in the second quarter. It halved from $403.8 million in the first quarter.

The company installs solar projects and has been raising finance to fund residential and commercial projects.

SunPower, like rival SunEdison Inc, is considering spinning off some of its solar power plants into a separate, dividend-paying entity, known as a "yield co".

A decision of when to do a "yield co" depends on how quickly the company can build solar power plants, Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner said on a conference call with analysts.

"It does not look like the company is likely to make a decision anytime soon, even though the market backdrop for yield cos has been very strong," said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.

SunPower said it expects revenue of $600 million to $650 million and an adjusted profit of 15 cents to 35 cents per share for the current quarter.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $639.85 million on earnings of 28 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said it expects to install 325 megawatts to 360 megawatts in the current quarter.

SunPower's net income fell to $43.9 million, or 28 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 29, from $62.8 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell about 4 percent to $621.1 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 26 cents per share on revenue of $623.6 million.

Shares of the company, which had risen more than 32 percent this year to Thursday close, closed down 4 percent at $36.73 on the Nasdaq. (Additional reporting by Narottam Medhora; and Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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