SunPower raises guidance after solid Q3 driven by energy storage, new homes and new ways of selling solar


Over the course of this strange year, American residential solar companies such as SunPower, Sunrun, Enphase and Tesla claimed they could weather the Covid storm with remote selling and new online strategies.

It turns out they were right.

SunPower just topped analyst estimates for third-quarter revenue and upped its guidance for 2020. Enphase and Tesla also reported strong signs of recovery in solar and storage. The combination of online sales strategies and a new set of homebound, energy-curious customers has enabled the market to grow in a cataclysmic year.

SunPower CEO Tom Werner said, “solid third quarter results reflect the strong demand” in both its residential and commercial businesses, in yesterday’s earnings call.

Financials and guidance

SunPower exceeded its revenue and EBITDA guidance and completed the spin-off of Maxeon. Its revenue numbers were above industry analyst estimates with GAAP revenue at $274.8 in the quarter.

Werner noted that the transition to virtual and online selling has “materially lowered our overall customer acquisition cost.”

The company’s fourth quarter and fiscal 2020 EBITDA guidance has been raised:

  • Fourth quarter GAAP revenue of $330 million to $370 million with GAAP net income of $11 million to $21 million
  • For fiscal year 2020, the company expects GAAP revenue of $1.12 billion to $1.16 billion, compared to its previous 2020 guidance of $1.06 billion to $1.10, with GAAP net income of $190 million to $200 million and MW recognized in the range of 465 MW to 515 MW. Adjusted EBITDA to now increased to the range of $30 million to $40 million.

The CEO said that the company was expecting $100 million in revenue from its SunVault storage product in 2021.

Resiliency on people’s minds

As we’ve reported, Covid-19’s sudden arrival put resiliency at the forefront of people’s minds and accelerated adoption of digital sales practices.

SunPower’s residential business in megawatts recognized was up 33% sequentially and benefited from “significant demand” for loans from its $1 billion partnership with Silicon Valley credit union Tech CU for potential U.S. residential solar and energy storage customers. SunPower continues to dominate in new homes with a backlog of more than 50,000 homes and expectations of 30% to 50% revenue growth in both its residential and new homes businesses for fiscal year 2021.”

The company noted than it is seeing storage add $0.20/w to its commercial pipeline with 30% attach rates for projects in its  backlog. SunPower added 13 MW of community solar projects.

BloombergNEF is forecasting that Americans will install a record 3 GW of solar on the roofs of their homes in 2020, with another 3.6 GW to be installed in 2021.



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