SunPower Soars on Strong Q4; Betting on Looser Credit

Wow, the bears on SunPower (SPWRA) aren’t having a very good day. The solar module provider late yesterday posted better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter and an outlook for 2009 that suggests strong growth, assuming the credit markets loosen. With the Street bracing for the worst, heading into the quarter–one analyst even launched coverage yesterday morning with a Sell rating–the shares have rebounded impressively.

But as the skeptics on the stock point out, to buy it here is a bet on improvement in the credit markets. As I noted yesterday, SunPower said it expects 2009 revenue of $1.6 billion to $2 billion, with profits of $2.20 to $2.80 a share. The company said that reaching the high end of the revenue and earnings ranges will depend on improved access to the project financing markets. And it also said that first-half performance will be “materially affected by seasonal factors and the continuing impact of the credit crisis.”

Weirdly, the company did not give any guidance at all on the first quarter.

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