SunPower announces record revenues in 2008, remains cautiously optimistic for 2009

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SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) released figures for Q4 2008 and provided cautious guidance for 2009. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $401 million, 56% of which was from the Components and the remaining 44% from the full System divisions.

Key takeaways from the announcement:

– Generated fourth quarter 2008 revenue of $401 million, up 79% year-on-year
– Recorded fiscal year 2008 revenue of $1.43 billion, up 85% year-on-year
– Achieved fourth quarter 2008 GAAP net income per share of $0.35, $0.70 non-GAAP
– Announced two multi-year agreements with European integrators totalling 230MW
– Added more than 350 residential and small-commercial dealers worldwide in 2008
– Appointed Dennis Arriola as the company’s new CFO
– Maintained strong liquidity with over $436 million in cash and investments
– Expects fiscal year 2009 revenue of $1.6 billion to $2.0 billion

CEO Tom Werner commented, “Our fourth-quarter performance reflects the continued strength of our vertically integrated business model, broad channel reach and geographic diversification.”

“Long-term solar market fundamentals remain in place and we are encouraged by the commitment to renewable energy by President Obama and Congressional leadership,” continued Werner. “Given these factors, we are well positioned to take advantage of growing global demand for solar this year and in the future, despite uncertainty in today’s economic and credit environment.”

2009 Guidance

“The long-term solar industry fundamentals remain very positive and the company’s 2009 sales pipeline is made up of identifiable customers and projects,” said Dennis Arriola, SunPower’s chief financial officer. “Given the continuing weak credit environment, our ability to meet the high-end of the revenue and earnings-per-share ranges will be dependent on improved access to the project financing markets. We expect our first-half of 2009 performance to be materially affected by seasonal factors and the continuing impact of the credit crisis.”

The company expects production capacity of more than 450MW and anticipates revenue between $1.6 billion and $2.0 billion. This would mean a 79% growth in revenues for 2009. SunPower in this statement appears to identify a weak first half due to financing issues but looks strongly optimistic for 2009 as a whole.

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