Westinghouse Solar sees quarterly revenues increase, losses cut; guides sales growth for year

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Westinghouse Solar released its Q3 2011 financial results, which saw the company achieve US$3.4 million in revenue during the quarter amounting to a year-over-year increase of 57% when compared to Q3 2010’s US$2.1 million and a 22% increase over Q2 2011’s US$2.8 million. Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Westinghouse Solar advised that the company’s revenue saw an increase during the third quarter due to the shipments of its new, lower cost and larger format panels to customers, which began in late August. Cinnamon additionally advised that the company reduced its total operating expenses to US$1.9 million in the Q3 over the US$2.2 million in Q2 2011.

Gross profit for Q3 was finalized at US$283,000 or 8.4% or its revenue a decline from Q3 2010’s US$314,000 gross profit, but an increase over Q2 2011’s US$194,000. The company cited a reduction on customer pricing during Q3 2011 as contributing to the decrease in gross margin, while the sequential increase was an effect from higher margins from its new larger format panel shipments.

Cinnamon additionally commented on the company’s recently filed claims against Zep Solar  and Canadian Solar, stating, “There is increasing focus in the industry on balance of system (BOS) and installation costs – areas in which we have concentrated our efforts for years. We believe that the combination of our patented technology and Westinghouse Solar branding gives us a competitive advantage in the marketplace – especially now that ordinary solar panels have become commodities. Moreover, we believe that our patents are valuable assets, and we will be very aggressive in defending our intellectual property from infringing companies.”

“We have been in US District Court litigation with claims against an infringing company for two years. Since it is relatively easy to delay the resolution of patent litigation with serial re-examination tactics at the US Patent and Trademark Office, we decided in the third quarter to seek relief from the International Trade Commission (ITC). On October 4, 2011 we filed a complaint with the ITC accusing Zep Solar and Canadian Solar of infringing two of our U.S. Patents, #7,406,800 and #7,987,641. The relief from the ITC could ultimately include a permanent exclusion order barring certain Zep Solar and Canadian Solar products from being imported into the United States, as well as a cease and desist order prohibiting the importation, sale, or advertising of these products. We expect that the ITC will undertake a formal investigation on behalf of the US Government within 30 days of the original filing, and we expect that this infringement matter will be resolved more expediently through the ITC compared to US District Court,” concluded Cinnamon.

In its outlook for Q4 2011, Westinghouse Solar is foreseeing sequential revenue growth between 20-40%, which would result in a full year 2011 revenue range of US$12 to US$13 million. Gross margin for Q4 2011 is anticipated to be in the 12-15% range, which would be from a higher mix of sales from its larger format panels.

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