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General Electric is hoping to tap into $2 trillion worth of government stimulus spending over the next three years to beef up revenue in its energy infrastructure division, including renewable energies such as wind and thermal power. GE said Friday its toal revenue fell 9 percent […] Read more »

U.S. demand for petroleum in the first three months of 2009 was the weakest in a decade as the ailing economy finally did what years of good intentions could not: make Americans spend less on oil. The American Petroleum Institute released a report Thursday showing petroleum […] Read more »

CEOs are typically shy about talking about other companies during analyst calls; Google’s Eric Schmidt is even more bashful on this front than most. So it was interesting that when Schmidt was asked about Twitter this afternoon, amid reports that Twitter is shopping around for a […] Read more »

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Mechanical Technology, Inc., the Albany, N.Y.,-based parent of fuel-cell developer MTI Micro, said late Monday it’s voluntarily delisting its shares from Nasdaq. In a statement, MTI said its low share price (95 cents at Monday’s close) and the zombie-like trading activity – 21,000 shares a day […] Read more »

Everyone, it seems, it excited about the Palm Pre. Those who have been granted time to fondle the Pre praise its features, the press is welcoming it with a fanfare worthy of the iPhone, and investors have tripled Palm’s price to $9.42 as of Friday’s close, […] Read more »

So which is it: Are solar stocks turning a long-awaited corner, or was the rally that lasted much of the last month before reversing course on Monday as part of a broad market sell-off just another dead-cat bounce? That debate has taken place amid a volatile […] Read more »

Just when a rebound in solar shares is offering investors some relief, Solarfun comes out with dismal fourth-quarter results that make clear there’s still plenty of bad news to go around. In addition to a large quarterly loss, a pile of solar modules it can’t sell […] Read more »

It should come as no surprise that oil companies are fair-weather friends to alternative energy, but it’s still interesting to watch them wriggle out of their erstwhile commitments once times get tough. Look at Royal Dutch Shell. The company that made $51 billion in pre-tax profit […] Read more »

In November 2004, eBay’s stock was trading near an all-time high at $56 a share, having risen sixfold in a little less than four years. This month, shares were trading below $10. eBay needs a fix, but there aren’t a lot of easy options before it. Read more »

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A provocative story from Reuters Monday ruminated on which companies are likely to replace Citigroup and General Motors in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Its conclusion: Google and Cisco are the most likely contenders, with Apple and Visa as less likely candidates. It’s a safe bet that those two troubled companies — trading below $2 a share — will get the boot, but does Google belong in the Dow? I think it does for a few reasons. Read more »

Two years ago, Rupert Murdoch bestrode the media world like a colossus. News Corp.’s stock simmered above $25 a share as properties from MySpace to American Idol to Fox Sports stood tall. A business news channel was in the works, and Murdoch was gunning for Dow […] Read more »

The credit crisis isn’t just shaking up the solar industry, it’s reshaping it — forcing major deals to shift from the weak to the strong. OptiSolar, a privately held startup that won a coveted 550 megawatt solar project to supply PG&E with solar power, is selling […] Read more »

Jeff Bezos, when he was peddling the new Kindle on Charlie Rose the other night, kept using the word “seamless.” He wasn’t talking about the device itself, of course, but the experience of the customer that uses it. Whatever you think about the Kindle, Bezos’ choice […] Read more »

Microsoft and Yahoo are starting to once again shoot coy glances at each other, with suggestions that Yahoo may either outsource or sell outright its search business to Microsoft. But no matter how much either company may hint that such a deal would make sense, the fact is that it’s the kind of deal that’s only going to happen because neither one of them had any better ideas. Read more »

Investors loved the numbers they saw in First Solar’s highly anticipated earnings report Tuesday afternoon. They they tuned in to the conference call and hated what they heard about the company’s outlook for this year. For the three months ended Dec. 27, 2008, First Solar reported […] Read more »

Solar companies have spent the past few weeks reporting their latest quarterly results, and the sector is looking battered. Many big names reported discouraging financials for the last three months of 2008, then followed up with even less cheery forecasts for 2009. But after the stock […] Read more »

Five years ago this April, Google filed to list its stock publicly. The founders let potential investors know it wouldn’t play by some of Wall Street’s rules, including paying them a cash dividend — which, the prospectus boasted, Google had never done. And as of today, […] Read more »

Nearly five years into a steady buying binge, eBay is looking bloated, unfocused and schizophrenic. eBay owns well over 100 subsidiaries, some of which were built in-house. But many are acquisitions that have been crammed into the parent company like those Tokyo train conductors at rush […] Read more »

Good times or bad, the trash still needs to be picked up. But as Waste Management Inc.’s earnings report showed this week, the business of managing waste and recycling isn’t exactly recession-proof. The slowdown is hitting its recycling business particularly hard. Waste Management said its revenue […] Read more »

Mark Morelli, CEO of Energy Conversion Devices, sees a lot of new customers lining up for his company’s thin-film solar laminates in the next few years. That’s not the problem. The problem is, how are they going to be able to pay? So Energy Conversion has […] Read more »

[qi:115] When the financial crisis reached full bloom last fall, it took many technology companies some time before they were able to appreciate the impact it would have on them. This year, we’re seeing the fallout in the form big losses or shrunken profits, layoffs and […] Read more »

Solar companies are painting a mixed picture of the sector’s health this month, with some companies surprising with strong results for the latest three-month period, and others disappointing. In the latter camp is Evergreen Solar, which on Thursday posted a loss in the December quarter on […] Read more »

You might think the investment world is pinning some hope on cleantech to perform better than the rest of the market, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, only half of the investors and analysts focused on alt-energy seem to be feeling bullish […] Read more »

The promise of billions being pumped into smart grid companies has sent some of that sector’s stocks rallying lately. But the stimulus plan could already be losing its ability to stimulate stocks — and before so much as a dime of it is spent. Take Liberty […] Read more »

A lot has changed since we last caught up with Tim Healy, CEO of EnerNOC, the Boston-based company that reduces electricity demand for power grid operators by automating energy conservation. “Demand response” is a term being heard more and more frequently these days as companies and […] Read more »

SunPower saw its shares rally in after-hours trading Thursday after reporting better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2008 and a so-so outlook for 2009. SunPower’s revenue in the quarter totaled $401 million, up 6 percent from the previous quarter and 79 percent higher than the […] Read more »

“Challenging” usually has positive connotations: something tough but invigorating and capable of making you stronger. These days, it’s being used more and more as a euphemism for “terrible.” Dustin Shindo, CEO of Hawaii-based solar company Hoku Scientific, used the word in his company’s press release announcing […] Read more »

Come Tuesday, Yahoo will step up to deliver its most recently quarterly results, which I doubt will be very much fun. Still, it will be the first time recently appointed CEO Carol Bartz will have a chance to publicly address the most significant question facing the […] Read more »

Cree shares rallied 14 percent to $18.76 Wednesday after a positive earnings report just as cleantech investors are sifting through numbers to separate the strong from the weak. Demand from consumer and automotive products may be down, but government spending in China and possibly the U.S. […] Read more »

“As January goes, so goes the market.” Or so holds the January Barometer theory, whose originators claim it’s accurate 75 percent of the time (others are doubtful). So far, the S&P 500 is off 7 percent; if that continues, we’re in for another crappy year. When […] Read more »

Updated: Old-media newsrooms are dying, as are some of their less-lucky online rivals. One seemingly immune cottage industry has emerged: chronicling the demise. A Twitter feed focusing on this grim theme has gathered 8,400 followers, and the parade of unsavory little scoops is relentless and oddly […] Read more »

Hard on the heels of a brutal year for solar stocks, the early days of 2009 are so far putting out a good share of negative news: sell recommendations from research analysts, a dire outlook from LDK, and Evergreen Solar shuttering a pilot plant. Investors, though, […] Read more »

By now, most agree that this recession is likely be longer, deeper and fiercer than those in the past, rendering smaller, newer companies especially vulnerable. Such vulnerability is already playing out in the public markets: Over the past three months, the Russell 2000 has fallen much […] Read more »

Many are glad to have shut the door on 2008. Few are likely to be happier than solar-power companies. Of the six solar stocks valued at more than $500 million (a club that grew much smaller during 2008), none outperformed the S&P 500 index, which fell […] Read more »

Year-end prognosticators have their work cut out for them. Most predictions made a year ago were undone by events few actually foresaw. Now things are as uncertain as ever. 2009 could bring a healthy recovery, or another financial crisis could set us back even further. So […] Read more »

Oil prices have become something of a contrarian indicator for alternative energy. While the surge above $145 a barrel this summer seemed to promise a golden age of investment in cleaner power, now that prices are back near the $37-a-barrel range and credit is in short […] Read more »

I spent five times as much on Christmas presents this year as last year. That is, I spent $500 in one frenzied day of shopping. Last year, I spent $100 a day over 10 days of shopping. OK, I made those figures up, but you can […] Read more »

Looking ahead to 2009, I can’t help but wonder what tens of thousands of skilled tech workers being kicked into a hostile job market will mean, what kind of creativity could be unleashed by workers who, though deprived of a steady paycheck, are freed from the tedious task of working for someone else. I think the results could prove to be positive for the Internet and its community over the long term. Read more »

With the private sector shrinking instead of growing, any hope for the economy will likely come from public stimulus. That has fueled a discrete guessing game among investors as to which companies would benefit. After all, it would be nice to have at least a few […] Read more »

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