Solar Giant SunPower Earnings: Really Good

SunPower hit a home run with its latest earnings report, announcing record-setting revenue of  $937.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, a 69 percent rise from the $550.6 million it did in the third quarter and an even bigger jump – 71 percent – from the $547.9 million it did in the fourth quarter of 2009.

For the full year, revenue climbed to $2.22 billion from $1.52 billion, and net income shot up to $178.7 million from $32.5 million in 2009.

SunPower solar panel maker, solar power developer

image via SunPower

In announcing the impressive earnings, the San Jose-based company also ratcheted up guidance for 2011, saying it anticipates revenues of $2.8 billion. “Given our strong 2010 performance, robust downstream demand and strong visibility, we are confident in our ability to deliver on our improved 2011 plan,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO. The company noted that it had achieved a record North American commercial backlog, with 2011 already 90 percent booked.

SunPower has a significant residential arm, but increasingly is seen doing large-scale solar power projects, such as the 20-megawatt (MW) Copper Crossing plant in Arizona, and California’s biggest school installation ever, an 11.2-MW deal with the Mount Diablo Unified Schools.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.