SunPower Reports Second-Quarter 2014 Results

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SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 second quarter.    SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North AmericaEuropeAustraliaAfrica and Asia.

($ Millions, except percentages and per-share data)

2nd Quarter

2014

1st Quarter

2014

2nd Quarter

2013

GAAP revenue

$507.9

$692.4

$576.5

GAAP gross margin

18.5%

23.5%

18.7%

GAAP net income

$14.1

$65.0

$19.6

GAAP net income per diluted share

$0.09

$0.42

$0.15

Non-GAAP revenue1

$621.1

$683.7

$650.0

Non-GAAP gross margin1

19.5%

22.0%

19.5%

Non-GAAP net income1

$43.9

$75.3

$62.8

Non-GAAP net income per diluted share1

$0.28

$0.49

$0.48

1Information about SunPower’s use of non-GAAP financial information is provided under “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

“SunPower’s second-quarter financial performance reflected solid execution as well as strong demand for our industry leading, high efficiency solar systems across all channels and geographic segments.  By leveraging our vertically integrated value chain from upstream to customer, we are competitive with traditional generation in many markets,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO.  “We are continuing to reduce our costs and with the ramp of our next generation technology and processes in Fab 4 starting in early 2015, we will further expand our cell efficiency leadership, lower manufacturing costs and increase capacity to meet the robust demand for our solutions.

“Regionally, our North America business continued to be a key driver of SunPower’s performance.  Construction of the 579-megawatt (MW) ac Solar Star Projects for MidAmerican Solar is proceeding with more than one million panels installed to date, and 228 MW are connected to the grid.  We also added to our power plant bookings and potential assets for our holdco strategy during the quarter, as we signed an agreement with Xcel Energy for a 60-MW project while expanding our public sector business with a 19-MW project at Nellis Air Force Base, our second project at this location.  Demand for our high efficiency solutions in the commercial business remains strong; we added a number of new and repeat customers to our backlog during the quarter.  We also saw significant strength in our residential lease and cash business as customers continue to choose SunPower for our high quality, superior performance and flexible financing options. With our recently announced $200 million solar loan funding agreement with Admirals Bank and available lease capacity through our Google and Bank of America agreements, we have sufficient committed finance capacity to grow our residential business.

“Our EMEA distributed generation business performed well. Pricing is stable and demand for our products, including our next generation SunPower® X-Series Solar Panels with efficiencies of 21.5 percent, remains robust.  We also connected 33 MW of power plant projects to the grid in South Africa during the quarter.  With a strong backlog and a favorable pricing trend expected for the balance of the year, we are confident in our ability to meet our 2014 goals in EMEA.

“Demand in Asia Pacific remained strong and we recorded our best revenue quarter in this region to date.  Japan remains a key market for us and accounted for more than 26 percent of our shipments in the second quarter.  In China, we shipped 15 MW of our SunPower® C7 Tracker cell packages in the second quarter against our recent 70-MW cell order announced last quarter.  Additionally, we are expanding our joint venture relationship with the TZ Group to other regions in China.

“With our vertically integrated strategy, more than 8-gigawatts pipeline and industry leading technology, we are well-positioned to capitalize on the further development of the global solar market,” concluded Werner.

“We met our revenue and profit goals for the quarter as we saw strong demand in all of our key markets,” said Chuck Boynton, SunPower CFO.  “Additionally, we strengthened our balance sheet during the quarter by retiring our 4.75 percent convertible bonds and successfully closing our $400 million, seven- year 0.875 percent convertible offering.  The result of these transactions is that we now have $1 billion in cash on the balance sheet, giving us the financial flexibility to support our holdco strategy and build Fab 4.  In addition, we continued to monetize our assets to drive cash flow, recently closing our second financing with Hannon Armstrong.  This financing gives us additional flexibility through a non-recourse debt structure that minimizes interest rate risk and maximizes the value of our existing lease assets.  Finally, we continue to add projects to our backlog and pipeline for inclusion in our holdco strategy with potential assets now totaling more than 600 megawatts.”

Second-quarter fiscal 2014 non-GAAP results include net adjustments that increase net income by $29.8 million, including a $22.6 million gross margin adjustment related to the timing of revenue recognition from utility and power plant projects, $13.3 million in stock-based compensation expense, $5.3 million in non-cash interest expense, ($0.6) million of other adjustments and ($10.8) million in tax effect.

Third Quarter and Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Outlook
The company’s third quarter 2014 consolidated non-GAAP guidance is as follows: revenue of $600 million to $650 million, gross margin of 17 percent to 19 percent, net income per diluted share of $0.15 to $0.35 and megawatts recognized in the range of 325 megawatts to 360 megawatts.  On a GAAP basis, the company expects revenue of $575 million to $625 million, gross margin of 18 percent to 20 percent and net income per diluted share of $0.00 to $0.20.

For fiscal year 2014, the company’s expectations are unchanged and are as follows:  non-GAAP revenue of $2.50 billion to $2.65 billion, gross margin of 19 percent to 21 percent, net income per diluted share of $1.10 to $1.40, capital expenditures of $150 million to $170 million and gigawatts recognized in the range of 1.225 gigawatts to 1.3 gigawatts.  On a GAAP basis, the company expects revenue of $2.55 billion to $2.70 billion, gross margin of 20 percent to 22 percent and net income per diluted share of $0.75 to $1.05.

Non-GAAP historical figures are reconciled to the closest GAAP equivalent categories below.  Please note that the company has posted supplemental information and slides related to its second-quarter 2014 performance on the Events and Presentations section of the SunPower Investor Relations page at http://investors.sunpower.com/events.cfm.  The capacity of power plants in this release is described in approximate megawatts on a direct current (dc) basis unless otherwise noted.

 

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement its consolidated financial results presented in accordance with GAAP, the company uses non-GAAP measures that are adjusted for certain items from the most directly comparable GAAP measures, as described below. Management adjusts for these items because it does not consider such items when evaluating the core operational activities of the company. The specific non-GAAP measures listed below are revenue, gross margin, net income, net income per diluted share, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), and free cash flow. Management believes that each of these non-GAAP measures is useful to investors, enabling them to better assess changes in each of these key elements of the company’s results of operations across different reporting periods on a consistent basis, independent of certain items as described below. Thus, each of these non-GAAP financial measures provides investors with another method to assess the company’s operating results in a manner that is focused on its ongoing, core operating performance, absent the effects of these items. Management uses these non-GAAP measures internally to assess the business, its financial performance, current and historical results, as well as for strategic decision-making and forecasting future results. Many of the analysts covering the company also use these non-GAAP measures in their analyses. Given management’s use of these non-GAAP measures, the company believes these measures are important to investors in understanding the company’s operating results as seen through the eyes of management. These non-GAAP measures are not prepared in accordance with GAAP or intended to be a replacement for GAAP financial data; the non-GAAP measures should be reviewed together with the GAAP measures and are not intended to serve as a substitute for results under GAAP, and may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies.

Non-GAAP revenue includes adjustments relating to utility and power plant projects as described below. Non-GAAP gross margin includes adjustments relating to utility and power plant projects, stock-based compensation, non-cash interest expense, and other items as described below. In addition to those same adjustments, non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per diluted share are adjusted for the tax effect of these non-GAAP adjustments as described below. In addition to the same adjustments as non-GAAP gross margin, EBITDA includes adjustments relating to cash interest expense (net of interest income), provision for (benefit from) income taxes, and depreciation. Free cash flow includes adjustments relating to investing cash flows and lease financings as described below.

Non-GAAP Adjustments

  • Utility and power plant projects. The company includes adjustments related to the revenue recognition of utility and power plant projects based on the separately-identifiable components of transactions in order to reflect the substance of the transactions. This treatment is consistent with accounting rules relating to such projects under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). On a GAAP basis, such projects are accounted for under U.S. GAAP real estate accounting guidance. Management calculates separate revenue and cost of revenue amounts each fiscal period in accordance with the two treatments above and the aggregate difference for the company’s affected projects is included in the relevant reconciliation tables below. Over the life of each project, cumulative revenue and gross margin will be equivalent under the two treatments; however, revenue and gross margin will generally be recognized earlier under the company’s non-GAAP treatment than under the company’s GAAP treatment. Among other factors, this is due to the attribution of non-GAAP revenue and margin to the company’s project development efforts at the time of initial project sale as required under IFRS accounting rules, whereas no separate attribution to this element occurs under U.S. GAAP real estate accounting guidance. Within each project, the relationship between the adjustments to revenue and gross margins is generally consistent. However, as the company may have multiple utility and power plant projects in progress at any given time, the relationship in the aggregate will occasionally appear otherwise. Management believes that this adjustment for utility and power plant projects enables investors to evaluate the company’s revenue generation performance relative to the direct costs of revenue of its core businesses.
  • Stock-based compensation. Stock-based compensation relates primarily to the company’s equity incentive awards. Stock-based compensation is a non-cash expense that varies from period to period and is dependent on market forces that are difficult to predict. Due to this unpredictability, management excludes this item from its internal operating forecasts and models. Management believes that this adjustment for stock-based compensation provides investors with a basis to measure the company’s core performance, including compared with the performance of other companies, without the period-to-period variability created by stock-based compensation.
  • Non-cash interest expense. The company separately accounted for the fair value liabilities of the embedded cash conversion option and the over-allotment option on its 4.5% senior cash convertible debentures issued in 2010 as an original issue discount and a corresponding derivative conversion liability. As a result, the company incurs interest expense that is substantially higher than interest payable on its 4.5% senior cash convertible debentures. The company excludes non-cash interest expense because the expense does not reflect its financial results in the period incurred. In addition, in connection with the Liquidity Support Agreement with Total executed on February 28, 2012, the company issued warrants to Total to acquire 9,531,677 shares of its common stock. The fair value of the warrants was recorded as debt issuance costs and amortized over the expected life of the agreement. As a result, the Company incurred non-cash interest expense associated with the amortization of the warrants. Management believes that this adjustment for non-cash interest expense provides investors with a basis to evaluate the company’s performance, including compared with the performance of other companies, without non-cash interest expense.
  • Other. Beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, the company combined amounts previously disclosed under separate captions into “Other” when such amounts no longer have a significant impact on the current fiscal period. Management believes that these adjustments provide investors with a basis to evaluate the company’s performance, including compared with the performance of other companies, without similar impacts.The adjustments recorded in “Other” for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 are primarily driven by adjustments which would have previously been disclosed under “Restructuring charges.”
  • Tax effect. This amount is used to present each of the adjustments described above on an after-tax basis in connection with the presentation of non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per diluted share. The company’s non-GAAP tax amount is based on estimated cash tax expense and reserves. The company forecasts its annual cash tax liability and allocates the tax to each quarter in proportion to earnings for that period. This approach is designed to enhance investors’ ability to understand the impact of the company’s tax expense on its current operations, provide improved modeling accuracy, and substantially reduce fluctuations caused by GAAP to non-GAAP adjustments, which may not reflect actual cash tax expense.
  • EBITDA adjustments. When calculating EBITDA, in addition to adjustments described above, the company excludes the impact during the period of the following items:
    • Cash interest expense, net of interest income
    • Provision for (benefit from) income taxes
    • Depreciation

Management presents this non-GAAP financial measure to enable investors with a basis to evaluate the company’s performance, including compared with the performance of other companies.

 

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