Sunpower returns to profit for second quarter of 2013

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Sunpower posted a return to profit in its second quarter 2013 financial results released on Wednesday 31 July.

The report detailed a second quarter 2013 profit of US$19.6 million, compared to a second quarter 2012 loss of US$84.2 million, and losses in the first quarter of this year of US$54.7 million. This marks the company’s first reported profit since the fourth quarter of 2010. Sunpower share prices have more than quadrupled this year.

Revenue adjusted for generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) was US$576.5 million, while the non-GAAP adjusted figure was US$650 million, compared to last year this was a modest decrease from a GAAP adjusted US$595.9 million and a non-GAAP figure of US$650.7 million. Megawatts produced stood at 296MW, compared to 208MW in the second quarter of 2012.

The company cited various highlights from the last quarter that had had a positive effect on its financial performance. This included more than US$100 million of projects booked in North America during the period, a 25MW supply agreement with a Japanese power plant and the securing of a three year revolving line of credit facility worth US$250 million.

Sunpower also reached a milestone in the building of California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR), a 250MW plant, as panel installation was completed, keeping the project on track for full completion at the end of 2013. Construction meanwhile continued on a 579MW project, the Antelope Valley Solar Project (AVSP), now renamed Solar Star I and Solar Star II, which was sold to the SolarStar subsidiary of Warren Buffet-owned company MidAmerican Solar at the beginning of the year. SolarStar secured US$1 billion in funding for the project in June.

Tom Werner, Sunpower president and CEO, said in a statement that the North American business continued to be the “cornerstone” of the company’s success, while the continued strength of the Japanese market was now complemented by a resurgence in the European market, as Sunpower reported its third consecutive quarter of financial improvement there.

The company, which is majority owned by French oil and gas giant Total, has diversified focus in recent years from a pure manufacturing role to expand further into project development as well as branching further into the home solar lease market. Sunpower reported that as of the last quarter, 18,400 customers had joined the residential lease programme.

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