The sun was shining on solar companies today, as upbeat outlooks sent shares of several solar companies soaring.
The biggest gainer of the day was Akeena Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: WEST), which surged as much as 53 percent today after the solar products maker raised its fourth-quarter revenue growth forecast to more than 50 percent sequentially.
“We are encouraged by the pace of sales in the fourth quarter and we are confident that we will see sequential revenue growth in excess of 50 percent,” said Westinghouse Solar’s CEO, Barry Cinnamon in a statement.
Akeena, which operates under the trade name Westinghouse Solar, said the key driver behind its revised revenue growth guidance is its ability to add new dealers in California, and elsewhere in the U.S.
On September 10, 2010 Westinghouse Solar announced it would be expanding its distribution business to include sales of its Westinghouse Solar Power Systems directly to dealers in California, and exiting its solar panel installation business. The company provided guidance on October 28 that it anticipated sequential revenue growth for its distribution business of approximately 40-50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 as compared to the third quarter.
“We continue to add new dealers both within California and in the rest of the country, and our network of installers is now over 130 independent solar dealers extending into 34 states plus Canada,” Cinnamon said.
“So far, we are seeing positive signs that the distribution business should prove to be as scalable as we anticipated when we made the decision to exit the installation business. We are also continuing discussions with new strategic distribution partners to increase our top line sales, and supplier partners to reduce our costs. We continue to anticipate that our cash operating expenses for continuing operations will be approximately $1.5 — 1.6 million in the fourth quarter.”
Other notable solar stock gainers included First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), and Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL)
Shares of Akeena Solar, Inc. are down about 4 percent over the past three months.