Monday, August 3, 2009

SunPower: Pacific Crest Cuts to “Underperform” on Flagging U.S. Market Share, German Price Woes (SPWRA)

From Tech Trader Daily:

Lost market share in the U.S. and a price war in Germany threaten solar panel maker SunPower’s (SPWRA) forecast for this year, writes Pacific Crest analyst Mark Bachman in a note this morning. He downgraded the stock to “Underperform” from “Sector Perform” and set a $21 price target.

SunPower beat estimates for its Q2 when it reported on July 23, and raised the bottom of its forecast for 2009 revenue from $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion this year.

“We have little conviction that goals for the second half of 2009 can be met,” writes Bachman. Some of the main points mentioned in today’s report are a reiteration of concerns Bachman raised right after SunPower’s Q2.

Bachman notes that SunPower’s business is a “black box,” with little disclosure as to what part of sales come from modules, meaning, the components of solar panel systems, and what part comes from systems themselves. He says sales of systems could be delayed by problems with project financing at electric utilities buying those panels. As for modules, the company’s network of 600 dealers leaves little visibility into how module sales may be faring.

Bachman writes that “SunPower does not agree with our assessment of visibility, but dealers who we talk with are adamant that there is significant variability in their project plans, which change daily.”>>>MORE