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Why SunPower Shares Jumped 12.9% Before Dropping After Hours

By Travis Hoium - Updated Feb 12, 2020 at 4:29PM

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Earnings provided an up-and-down day for investors in the solar manufacturer.

What happened 

Shares of solar manufacturer SunPower (SPWR -0.74%) jumped as much as 12.9% in trading Wednesday ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings report. Shares closed up 10.6% on the day but quickly fell 5% in after-hours trading as earnings failed to impress late traders. 

So what

Trading during the day was a lot of speculation over earnings, but when the numbers finally came out, quarterly revenue on a non-GAAP (adjusted) basis was $607.0 million, and earnings were $0.23 per share, both slightly beating expectations. 

College campus with solar panels on the roofs.

Image source: SunPower.

On the guidance side, management said first-quarter revenue would be $435 million to $470 million, in line with the $451 million that analysts expected. 

The other big news was that the spinoff of Maxeon Solar Technologies is going as planned and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020. 

Now what

Neither the pop during regular trading or the drop after hours should change investor opinions about this renewable energy stock. SunPower has a lot of transition ahead, focusing on deploying residential and commercial solar rather than manufacturing, which will be spun off to Maxeon. I think the company has a chance to take significant market share with its new focus, but it'll take time to prove the transaction is valuable, and today wasn't enough evidence that sales or margins will perk up as the year wears on.  

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