SunPower survived shutdowns for a strong Q2

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It’s earnings season, giving us the first full look at how the biggest players in the solar industry fared in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. One of these giants, SunPower was able to weather shutdowns and stay-at-home orders to deliver a strong quarter.

The company took steps to prepare for disruptions at the outset of the pandemic, including cutting executive pay, reducing the workweek for some employees and shutting down manufacturing prior at the height of the pandemic. Because of these measures, SunPower was actually able to put up increased revenue in 1H 2020, when compared to 1H 2019. This accomplishment was, however, driven mostly by Q1’s $454.4million in revenue, as the company saw a nearly 20% decrease in quarter-over-quarter revenue, falling to $352.9 million in Q2.

Highlights from Q2

  • A 180 MW new homes backlog, which works out to 45,000 homes
  • Maxeon Solar Technologies successfully completed $325 million in financing
  • Maxeon’s 20-F was declared effective by the SEC
  • An expected share distribution date of 8/26 for Maxeon Solar
  • Net income of $19.4 million
  • Increases in demand and installations of both solar and storage products
  • Launch of three new products: 5th generation bi-facial P Series module, SunVault storage solution, OneRoof, a roof-integrated solar system

Those last two products were highlights of the early portion of the results call, described as two of the company’s “most important products ever.” The two are off to a hot start, with the company reporting attachment rates above 20% for SunVault in California. As for OneRoof, the SunPower was able to partner with KB Homes as the first builder to feature the product, which has since grown to a network of six builders and 19 communities.

The report also notes that SunPower’s Helix storage solution is approaching an attachment rate of 50% and a total pipeline of more than 625 MWh.

Sticking with the commercial side, install volume increased more than 50% year-over-year and the company was awarded 12.8 MW in projects from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. That one award contributed to the more than 100 MW of commercial projects that SunPower was awarded in 1H 2020.

Guidance for Q3

The company did share that shipments are expected to fall in Q3, reflecting the production disruptions brought on by the pandemic, yet a return to form is expected for Q4, with CEO Tom Warner taking time to acknowledge the company’s resilience.

  • Expected GAAP revenue of $360 million to $400 million
  • Gross margin of o% to 5%
  • Net loss of $110 to $95 million
  • 500 MW to 560 MW shipped

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