What SunPower Earnings Mean for First Solar and SolarCity

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After markets close Thursday, solar panel maker SunPower Corp. (SPWR) will report second-quarter results. Analysts are looking for earnings per share (EPS) of $0.26 on revenues of $623.55 million.

The expectations are below actual results in the second quarter of 2013, with a whopping 45% expected decline in EPS and a 4% drop in revenues. SunPower’s stock posted its 52-week high on June 30 and has drifted lower ever since.

Competitor First Solar Inc. (FSLR) is scheduled to report results next week. First Solar’s stock has appreciated nearly 29% in the past 12 months, compared with more than 36% for SunPower. The two companies tracked one another closely until First Solar shares jumped in March following its investor day forecast. SunPower’s stock began dropping shortly after First Solar’s climb, but the two converged again in late April and have tracked one another pretty closely again.

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SolarCity Corp. (SCTY) also reports earnings next week, and its stock has risen about 76% in the past 12 months, but that is well below its peak of about 110%. SunPower has entered the rooftop installation business and has found partners like Google Inc. (GOOG) to help with financing solar installations on individual homes and businesses and then selling the electricity back to the owners or residents. SolarCity has made a living off that model, and how SunPower does in that segment will have an impact on SolarCity’s shares.

SunPower traded down about 3% in the early afternoon on Thursday, at $37.09 in a 52-week range of $20.57 to $42.07.

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