SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) just announced financial results for its 2010 fourth quarter and fiscal year.

"2010 was a great year for SunPower," said Tom Werner, the company's CEO, during the earnings call this afternoon.

Fourth-quarter net income was $152.3 million compared with $8.5 million a year ago. Revenue rose 71 percent to $937.1 million from $547.9 million last year. SunPower shares closed at $17.43 on the Nasdaq, up 29 cents, or 1.7 percent.

2010 revenue grew a whopping 46 percent to $2.22 billion from $1.52 billion in 2009. The company shipped 546 megawatts in 2010 with a gross margin of 23 percent.

Guidance for 2011: The firm is fully allocated for the year and the firm raised the revenue and guidance for the first quarter of 2011 to $475 million to $525 million. SunPower raised guidance for the full year to $2.8 billion to $2.95 billion at a gross margin of 19 percent to 21 percent.

The CEO also said, "Due to the success of our accelerated cost reduction roadmap, we are on plan to achieve our efficiency-adjusted panel cost goal of $1.08 per watt in the fourth quarter of 2011."

Key milestones achieved since the third quarter of 2010:

  • Announced agreement to sell 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch power plant to NRG Solar
  • Executed industry’s first publicly rated solar project bonds, approximately euro 195 million, and sold 72-megawatt Montalto Solar Park
  • Dedicated 1,400-megawatt Fab 3 joint venture in Malaysia with AU Optronics
  • Signed three power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison totaling 711 megawatts
  • Expanded global utility and power plant pipeline to more than 5 gigawatts in 2010
  • Achieved record North American commercial backlog -- 90 percent booked for 2011
  • Awarded largest school contract in the US -- 11 megawatts DC at 51 schools
  • Added approximately 500 partners to global dealer network in 2010 -- exited year with 1,500 partners

The firm has targeted $1.00 per watt cost by 2014 and continues its work on a low concentration architecture.

SunPower continues to beat guidance and grow despite the commodity nature of the PV business because it controls a multi-national pipeline of utility-scale projects as well as leading in market share in several U.S. solar sectors.