Weekly Investor Round Up

Two solar companies announced increased profits for the most recent
quarter, despite obvious signs that the industry is beginning a

SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWRA) announced revenues
for 4Q08 of $401 million up from $378 million in the previous quarter
and $224 million a year ago. The company’s components and systems
divisions accounted for 56% and 44% of the revenue, respectively. The
better-than-expected fourth-quarter, sent  shares up 12%.

The company lowered its revenue forecast for 2009, but
SunPower’s CEO, Tom Werner, said: "Long-term solar market fundamentals
remain in place and we are encouraged by the commitment to renewable
energy by President Obama and Congressional leadership."

GT Solar International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR), a provider of solar manufacturing equipment, also reported increased revenues
and profit for its most recent quarter. Revenues totaled $205.2
million, up 46% from the previous quarter and compared to $14.7 million
year over year. Gross profit increased to $89.5 million, compared to
$1.7 million a year ago.

But not everyone fared so well. Ontario-based solar company Arise Technologies (APV.TO) warned on Tuesday that its 4Q08 results would be down from previous forecasts. As a result, shares of the company fell 24% on Wednesday to roughly 30 Canadian cents. 

Vern Heinrichs, the company’s interim President and CEO, said: "It has
become increasingly apparent that the global economic downturn is now
affecting the solar industry as well… We began to experience the
effects in December when our customers started to defer purchasing of
PV (photovoltaic) cells."

Silver Spring Networks announced that it has been selected by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM) to provide advanced networking products
and services to build a Smart Grid network for Pepco’s 1.9 million
customers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington D.C. Initial
deployments will occur in the Delmarva Power & Light service
territory in Delaware, with full deployment anticipated by 2013.

U.S. company Ener1, Inc. (Nasdaq: HEV) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Japan’s Itochu Corporation (ITOCF.PK) in an effort to introduce its lithium-ion batteries
to the Japanese market. Itochu is a global trading company with
partnerships and equity ownership in the Japanese automotive
manufacturing industry. The agreement also sets the stage for Itochu to
introduce Ener1’s batteries to the solar power markets, where Itochu is
aggressively developing its business.

Novozymes (NVZ.L) has partnered with the major Chinese oil and energy company Sinopec (0386.HK) to produce cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale in China from the agricultural waste. Chinese agricultural company COFCO is
also part of the deal and will provide corn stover to be used as feed
stock. Novozymes will provide the enzyme technology use to produce the
ethanol, and Sinopec will handle distribution. Commercial-scale
production is expected in 2010.

Novozymes is a company that regularly appears on the SB20 List produced by
SustainableBusiness.com’s green investing newsletter, Progressive

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (OPT) (Nasdaq: OPTT) have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on a utility-scale wave power project
in North America. The companies have worked together previously on
systems for U.S. homeland security, developing marine surveillance
systems that combine OPT’s PowerBuoy with Lockheed Martin’s acoustic
sensors. The wave power project is expected to be off the coast of
Oregon or Northern California.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced at the Washington Auto Show that Johnson Controls-Saft will supply the complete battery system
for the automaker’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to be
introduced in 2012.Johnson Controls-Saft is a joint venture between
U.S. company automotive battery company Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) and Saft (SAFT.PA), a lithium-ion battery maker in France.

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAIN), a natural and organic products company, announced a license agreement
with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) to offer a new
Martha Stewart-branded line of natural home cleaning solutions.

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Comments on “Weekly Investor Round Up”

  1. Bob

    We need to do everything in our power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.We have so much available to use such as wind and solar as well as technologies to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. There could be no better investment in than to invest in energy independence. Create clean cheap energy,create millions of BADLY needed new green jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year did serious damage to our society and economy. Record numbers of jobs and homes have been lost due to the direct impact on our economy.Oil is finite.We are using it globally at the rate of 2 X faster than new oil is being discovered. Added to the strain on our supplies foreign countries are bursting in populations and becoming modern.China and India alone are expected to add another 3 million vehicles to their highways in the next 2 decades. I just read a fantastic book called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now by Jeff Wilson.Great Book!



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