July 31, 2013 / 8:58 PM / 4 years ago

SunPower second-quarter results top estimates

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - SunPower Corp (SPWR.O) on Wednesday reported quarterly profit and revenue that topped expectations, helped by strong demand for its solar panels in utility, commercial and residential projects.

The company raised its profit outlook for the year but kept is revenue forecast steady. Its shares rose slightly in after-hours trade.

The second-quarter net profit was $19.6 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $84.2 million, or 71 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding items, the company, which also builds power plants with its solar panels, earned 48 cents per share, well ahead of analysts’ average estimate of 11 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue was $650 million, topping SunPower’s own forecast of $550 million to $600 million.

For the full year, the company forecast net revenue of $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion and said it would report a profit of $1.00 to $1.30 a share. The profit outlook is higher than the 60 cents to 80 cents a share SunPower forecast in May. The revenue forecast is unchanged.

For the third quarter, the company expects revenue of $550 million to $600 million and income of 15 cents to 35 cents a share. The revenue view is below analysts’ average forecast of $682.18 million, while they expect a profit of 19 cents as share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

SunPower has slashed costs in recent years as the global glut of solar panels erased profit margins for manufacturers. The company makes the most efficient panels in the industry and charges a premium for them.

But it has moved away from a reliance on manufacturing by expanding its project development business. Earlier this year, SunPower sold two massive projects in California to a company controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N). It is also benefiting from the expansion of solar lease arrangements with homeowners, a business in which it competes with others, including SolarCity SCTY.O and SunRun.

SunPower is also chasing more business overseas thanks to its relationship with a French energy company, which is investing in some of SunPower’s projects. SunPower is majority-owned by Total SA (TOTF.PA).

SunPower shares rose to $27.75 after closing at $27.65 on the Nasdaq.

Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Carol Bishopric and Leslie Gevirtz

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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