What happened 

Shares of residential solar company SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) jumped as much as 15% in trading Friday after reporting first-quarter 2020 results. Shares fell off later in the day, and at 3:20 p.m. EDT were up 6.8%. 

So what

SunPower reported revenue of $449.2 million in the quarter, gross margin of 8.3%, and an adjusted loss of $17.3 million, or $0.10 per share. That compares with analyst estimates of $408.8 million in revenue and a loss of $0.19 per share. 

Home with SunPower panels on the roof on a sunny day.

Image source: SunPower.

Management also said that the spin-off of Maxeon Solar Technologies is still expected to be completed in the second quarter. And the company has cut cash expenses by about $100 million for 2020 and has available liquidity of $500 million over the next year to survive the current economic crisis. 

While losses are never good, SunPower's digitized sale process has held up well, and the company is making progress turning the commercial business into a profitable operation. That progress was enough to push shares higher today. 

Now what

Investors are still speculating on what the rest of the year will look like, but right now SunPower is performing even better than expected in a seasonally weak quarter with COVID-19 headwinds. On top of decent results, SunPower signed a $1 billion residential solar financing agreement this week to support solar loans, which will make the sales process easier for installers. Add that financing to the mix, and SunPower appears to be making its way through the current economic downturn better than investors feared.  

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