SunPower earnings: Solar is increasingly competitive

SunPower, Silicon Valley’s dominant solar panel manufacturer, reported per-share earnings of 30 cents early Wednesday on revenue of $663 million, beating analysts estimates thanks to strong demand in the United States, China and Japan. Shares were up slightly in early trading.

“Solar power is increasingly competitive with traditional energy sources in a number of markets,” said CEO Tom Werner in a statement. On an earnings call with analysts, Werner said that the declining price of oil worldwide is not affecting demand.

SunPower is majority-owned by French oil giant Total, which has been rocked by the sudden death of chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie in a Moscow plane crash. Total SA’s directors named refining and chemicals head Patrick Pouyanné CEO last week.

SunPower designs and manufactures high-efficiency solar cells and solar panels for residential, commercial and utility clients, including a 16 megawatt system at UC Davis, that, when complete, will be the largest solar power plant on an American college campus.

SunPower CEO Tom Werner; photo by Josie Lepe of the Bay Area News Group.

 

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