What happened

Shares of solar energy company SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) went on a wild ride on Wednesday after the company reported first-quarter 2021 earnings. Shares fell as much as 10.2% early in the day, only to bounce back to a positive 6.9% high for the day. At 2:45 p.m. EDT shares were up a modest 3%.

So what

Quarterly revenue at SunPower was $306.4 million, gross margins were 16.3%, non-GAAP (adjusted) net income was $9.3 million, or $0.05 per share, and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was $19.1 million. All of the results were within the guidance range provided when fourth-quarter 2020 results were given.

Large pitched house roof covered in solar panels

Image source: Getty Images.

Management also reiterated full-year 2021 guidance for a 35% increase in revenue, and said EBITDA is still expected to triple this year from $40.1 million last year. Basically, the company is performing as planned, which made the sell-off this morning so strange.

Now what

The quarter didn't hold any major surprises, and given management's reiteration of guidance for the year, was about what investors should have expected. And the recent stimulus plan that passed could provide further upside. SunPower highlighted that expansions in federal building and school funding could provide additional growth in coming years, which is bullish for the company long-term.

The market was down on the stock early today, but I see this as a positive earnings report. And the recovery in shares indicates that investors eventually came to that conclusion as well.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.