U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 35 mins

SunPower 2nd qtr loss smaller than expected

Aug 1 (Reuters) - SunPower Corp on Tuesday reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly net loss, citing strong demand for its solar panels and projects, and said it would sell its stake in the 8point3 Energy Partners LP partnership with rival First Solar Inc.

The U.S. solar company had a second quarter net loss of $93.8 million, or 67 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $70 million, or 51 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, the company posted a loss of 35 cents per share, narrower than the loss of 44 cents per share Wall Street analysts had been expecting, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue was $337.4 million, above Wall Street analysts' average estimate of $313.19 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

SunPower is majority owned by French oil company Total SA . (Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Chris Reese)