Better times ahead?
Last year was dreadful for solar panel makers as a glut of supplies in world markets drove down prices. So far in 2012, there have been a few developments that have given some hope that the worst is over. Most recently, shares of solar power companies jumped to end the week after two of them reported encouraging results in their earnings and a third company said it had regulatory approval to continue building a new solar power project in California.
SunPower, based in San Jose, Calif, said its fourth-quarter profit was much higher than analysts expected, thanks to strong demand that boosted revenue and shipments. Chinese solar panel maker Suntech Power raised its guidance on full-year shipments last year, suggesting demand wasn't as bad as some analysts feared. And First Solar said Friday that it had an approval to continue a major solar power project in California.
Alan Bernheimer, a spokesman for the Tempe, Ariz., solar power developer, said First Solar had resolved all permitting issues that held up the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project. Bernheimer said he could not elaborate.
SunPower (SPWR : NASDAQ : US$8.13), Net Change: 0.65, % Change: 8.69%, Volume: 7,324,371
First Solar (FSLR : NASDAQ : US$42.59), Net Change: 2.88, % Change: 7.25%, Volume: 9,000,140
Suntech Power (STP : NYSE : US$3.65), Net Change: 0.28, % Change: 8.31%, Volume: 7,985,845
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