Why SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) Presents A Mixed Picture For Investors

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Recent announcements from SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) offer both hope and cause for concern. On the hopeful front, the company continues to show that its solar panels and related products are in high demand. It recently said that it is in the process of supply 64.4 megawatts (MW) of its E-Seies solar panels to a French firm called La Compagnie du Vent.

Supplying panels to La Compagnie will increase SunPower’s footprint in France’s clean energy market, potentially yielding more business opportunities for the company in the country. La Compagnie will use SunPower’s panels to set up seven new solar power plants in France.

“Since 2012, La Compagnie du Vent has been a valued SunPower partner, and we are pleased to supply an additional 64.4 megawatts of solar panels that will deliver emission-free power for homes and businesses in France,” said SunPower’s EVP Eduardo Medina.

SunPower has already supplied La Compagnie with 45 MW panels. The panels were used by La Compagnie to construct five solar power plants that are already in operation.

Technology powering 3,000 MW power plants

Medina added that SunPower’s technology is already behind more than 3,000 MW solar power plants around the world.  The company is pressing for more global presence.

Despite painting a positive picture of SunPower’s future, the company’s management has also raised concern about the near-term outlook. Furthermore, 4Q16 earnings results showed the company continues to struggle to squeeze profits from its panel sales.

SunPower’s CEO Tom Werner said on the company’s earnings call that the solar market is undergoing a significant transition, citing a global supply glut that is pushing prices of panels down. The warning about subdued panel prices came at a time when investors are already worried about tepid support for the renewable energy sector from the US government. President Trump’s opinion on climate change has been disturbing for some.

4Q16 loss widens

SunPower’s posted a net loss of $275.1 million in 4Q16, widening from $40.5 million a year earlier. The company’s revenue rose more than 40% to $1.02 billion but still missed the consensus estimate of $1.06 billion.

Shares of SunPower retreated 6.8% to $6.76 in the last session. The stock is up less than 3% this year and is down more than 68% since a year ago.

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