SunPower Corp. late Wednesday said it has put on hold a $20 million plan to expand its workforce in the U.S. and is considering “other significant cost saving initiatives” to lower its expenses and improve its financial performance. Shares fell as much as 11%, and were halted earlier. The solar-power company reported a wider quarterly loss and a revenue miss for the fourth quarter. SunPower said it lost $569 million, or $4.07 a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $275 million, or $1.99 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2016. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $36 million, or 25 cents a share, in the period, compared with $3.3 million, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $658 million, from $1.02 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 11 cents a share on sales of $797 million. The company said it expects revenue of $1.6 billion to $2 billion for the year. SunPower said it had applied for tariff exemptions for certain products following the government’s decision to apply new tariffs on solar cells and modules. “Unfortunately, we are already seeing a negative near-term impact from the ruling as the increased costs due to import tariffs have delayed certain 2018 projects and made other projects uneconomical,” the company said.
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