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SunPower Reports Blockbuster 2010 Year & Q4 Earnings

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Solar bellwether SunPower (s SPWRA) reported a blockbuster fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010 earnings on Thursday. SunPower, which develops high-efficiency solar panels and solar projects, announced it generated revenue of $2.22 billion for the fiscal year 2010, up sharply from revenues of $1.52 billion for the fiscal year 2009. At the same time, SunPower generated net income of $178.72 million for the fiscal year 2010, up from the net income for 2009 at $32.52 million.

Fourth quarter earnings were even more impressive. For the fourth quarter of 2010, SunPower earned $152.25 million, up dramatically from the $8.54 million of net income generated in the fourth quarter of 2009. Revenues for the fourth quarter 2011 were $937.07 million, up from $547.94 million for fourth quarter 2009. SunPower’s guidance for fiscal year 2011 was up to $2.8 billion – $2.95 billion.

SunPower’s shares were up 1.69 percent to close at $17.43, and were up to $18.51 in after hours trading.

SunPower generates revenue from both developing utility-scale and commercial solar projects and also manufacturing solar panels. SunPower said for 2010, it expanded its global utility and power plant pipeline to more than 5 GW. Costs for its solar panels will equal $1.08 per watt by the fourth quarter of 2011, says SunPower.

SunPower’s 2010 blockbuster earnings represents an upswing in both the solar industry and the economy. A year ago, SunPower reported fourth quarter and 2009 year results that were a triple-whammy of bad news: a drop in 2009 fourth quarter profits, a lower-than-expected earnings guidance for 2010 and a restating of its earnings for 2008 and the first three quarters of 2009. Ouch. It’s good to be back in the sun.

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