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Solar Losers: Akeena Solar

Shares of Akeena Solar are falling on Thursday after a disappointing earnings report.

LOS GASTOS, Calif. (


) -- Remember the good old days from fall 2009 when

Akeena Solar


was soaring by as much as 50% in one-day?

Those days probably seem like a distant memory after Thursday's disappointing earnings from Akeena Solar.

On Dec. 10, 2009, Akeena shares soared by 68% intra-day after the solar company announced a deal with


(LOW) - Get Lowe's Companies, Inc. Report

to have the home giant stock its shelves with the first do-it-yourself solar kit for U.S. consumers.

On Thursday, the do-it-yourself solar kit potential was not evident, but Akeena investors were doing it themselves in terms of selling shares of Akeena. Lowe's optimism was replaced by a low for Akeena.


earnings season has so far been very unkind to U.S. solar companies, with some big disappointments and share selloffs from

Evergreen Solar


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Energy Conversion Devices



Shares of Akeena Solar were down more than 6% and the thinly traded solar stock had already hit its average daily volume of shares traded by 11 A.M. Thursday, after an earnings shortfall.

At the time of the Lowe's deal, an analyst who covers Akeena -- and there are only a handful -- said investors should be cautious and that the

potential from the Lowe's deal did not offset the short-term financial constraints faced by Akeena, and it would be likely be a long-time until the Lowe's deal was reflected in sales figures.

In its disappointing earnings on Thursday morning, Akeena missed the street forecast of a loss of 9 cents per share, posting a loss of 11 cents per share. Akeena had lost 7 cents per share in the third quarter 2009.

There were many data points in the most recent reported quarter on which Akeena disappointed.

Akeena Solar's net sales for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $7 million, a decrease of 35% compared to $10.9 million in net sales in the fourth quarter of 2008, and a decrease of 8.3% from the third quarter sales of $7.7 million.

Akeena's residential installations in the fourth quarter of 2009 were $5.3 million compared to $8.4 million in the fourth quarter last year and $6.8 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Akeena's commercial installations in the fourth quarter of 2009 were $386,000, compared to $2.4 million in the fourth quarter last year, and $484,000 in the third quarter of 2009.

Akeena Solar's gross profit for the fourth quarter 2009 was $1.3 million, or 18% of sales, compared to a negative $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, and $1.9 million, or 24.7% of sales in the third quarter of 2009.

On a sequential basis, Akeena Solar's fourth quarter 2009 gross margin decreased, reflecting the higher mix of lower margin distribution sales. Average selling price in the quarter was $6.60 per watt compared to $7.08 in the third quarter and $7.67 a year ago.

Akeena's Installations for the quarter amounted to approximately 856 kilowatts, compared to approximately 1,410 kilowatts in the same quarter last year and approximately 1,027 kilowatts in the third quarter of 2009.

All that fanfare from the Lowe's deal back in December, but after Thursday's weak earnings report from Akeena, Akeena shares were at $1.07 on Thursday at midday.

With its fourth quarter in the books, it was a volatile end to a volatile year in thinly traded Akeena shares. Akeena was above $1.80 in February 2009, quickly fell below $1 -- before climbing during the spring -- a fairly steady upward trend until Akeena shares went over $1.50 after the Lowe's announcement in December.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.


>>Akeena Solar Flares on Lowe's Deal

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