Greentech Earnings Roundup: SunPower, Cree, A123, LDK

Happy greentech earnings day! Some major bellweathers of emerging green industries — including solar maker SunPower (s SPWRA), LED chip company Cree (s CREE), lithium ion battery producer A123 Systems (s AONE) and solar wafer maker LDK — announced earnings today. While none of the firms made history in their filings, there are some important bits you should note:


SunPower, which makes high-efficiency solar panels, saw its revenues gain, its earnings drop, and gave a boosted annual earnings guidance in its second quarter earnings release today. SunPower generated revenues of $384.2 million for the second quarter of 2010, up from $299.3 million from the second quarter of 2009, and saw a net loss of $6.2 million for second quarter ofs 2010, down from an earnings of $14.3 million for the second quarter of 2009.

Wall Street was happy, as SunPower boosted the earnings outlook for the year by 10 cents a share to $1.35 to $1.65. SunPower’s stock rose almost 3 percent in after-hour trading.

As put it: “No one was expecting a big quarter from SunPower.” And yep, they pretty much got that. One more interesting tidbit is that SunPower also announced a deal to build a 15 MW solar farm at Luke Airforce Base in Glendale, Ariz., which would sell power to Arizona utility APS. Construction is supposed to start in January and create 550 local jobs. APS also has plans to buy power from solar thermal plants being built in the region, which makes me wonder if SunPower’s solar PV is now cheaper to buy (and quicker to deploy) than the solar thermal tech.


LED chip lighting firm Cree saw one of the biggest jumps out of our greentech movers for its fourth quarter earnings announcement today. Cree generated $264.6 million for its fourth quarter of 2010, up from $148.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. Cree earned $52.85 million for the quarter, up significantly from $9.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. The demand for LEDs has started to grow nicely, and Cree is now reaping the benefits of the LED market. However, Cree saw its shares drop over 8 percent in after-hour trading, because of an updated outlook for the next quarter that didn’t meet analyst expectations.

A123 Systems:

Next-gen battery maker A123Systems had the most ‘bummer’ of an earnings statement out of the greentech players today. The company, which is heavily backed by Department of Energy grants, said its second quarter losses grew as it’s looking to ramp up production. The company reported a loss of $34.2 million, down from a loss of $21.9 million from the second quarter of 2009. A123 generated revenues of $22.6 million for the quarter, up slightly from $19.7 million from second quarter 2009. The company’s stock dropped over 4 percent in after-hour trading.

LDK Solar:

Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar also had a particularly strong earnings announcement for its second quarter. LDK said it had a net income of $45 million up dramatically from a loss of $216.9 million from second quarter 2009 (that earnings was handicapped by an inventory writedown), while revenues jumped to $565.3 million from $228.3 million a year earlier. The company’s stock rose 5 percent in after-hour trading.

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