SunPower exceeded its previous guidance for both revenue and shipments in Q2, capitalising on what it said was improving demand for distributed generation.
The company recorded shipments of 464MW in the second quarter, higher than the forecasted 340-400MW amount. That figure was down on the 538MW posted in Q1 and 622MW in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
Q2 GAAP revenue was down 19% year-on-year to US$352.9 million, lower than the US$449.2 million recorded in the previous quarter.
Despite previously predicting annual GAAP losses in the range US$145-195 million for 2020, SunPower recorded GAAP net income of US$19.4 million for Q2, up from losses of $1.4 million in Q1.
Confronted by the impacts of COVID-19, SunPower in March revealed plans to save around US$50 million through cost-cutting measures such as a reduction in capital expenditures, a decrease in management salaries and the freezing of all hiring and merit increases within its workforce. These initiatives, as well as a transition to an online sales model, appear to have helped offset some of the pandemic-related disruptions.
Speaking in a conference call with analysts, Jeffrey Waters, CEO of the SunPower Technologies (SPT) unit, said the division achieved record Q2 volume shipments in both its European and Australian distributed generation businesses.
This, he said, is a testament to “solid underlying demand” in these markets as well as the resilience of the company’s global sales and installation partner channel. The unit exited the quarter with all its factories fully online.
SunPower CEO Thomas Werner said within the SunPower Energy Services division, demand and installation activity increases began in the second half of April, with these trends continuing until the end of the quarter.
“Our channels business delivered a very strong quarter, primarily driven by residential retrofit as we benefited from our successful transition to an online sales model,” Werner said in the conference call.
For Q3 2020, SunPower forecasts GAAP revenue of US$360 million - 400 million, a net loss of US95 million - 110 million and expects to ship 500-560MW.
Meanwhile, the company’s Maxeon Solar Technologies spin-off is due to begin public trading at the end of the month. During Q2, the Singapore-headquartered unit completed US$325 million in financing from SunPower to strengthen its post-spin balance sheet.
For Q4 and beyond, Werner said both SunPower and Maxeon expect “a continued improvement in global solar demand environment and our financial performance through the end of the year”.