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SunPower

(SPWR) - Get SunPower Corporation Report

, a manufacturer of solar cells and solar panels, said Thursday that it swung to profit in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

The company earned $9.6 million, or 13 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $1.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for items, earnings were $12.1 million, or 16 cents a share, in the most recent quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 13 cents a share.

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Third-quarter revenue rose 198% from a year ago to $65.3 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $61.1 million.

Looking ahead, SunPower sees fourth-quarter earnings of 16 cents to 17 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $70 million to $72 million. Analysts project earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $70.1 million. The company also reiterates its 2007 revenue guidance of greater than $360 million. Analysts expect revenue of $369.8 million for the full year 2007.

''Our plans for rapid growth continue on track: SunPower has tripled solar cell manufacturing capacity over the past year and we plan to more than double that capacity by the end of next year while rapidly expanding our panel manufacturing in parallel. We have entered into a joint venture to construct and operate a new silicon ingot manufacturing facility in Korea,'' the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said. "Procuring silicon to fuel our rapid growth continues to be a primary focus for SunPower. We have had considerable success in obtaining both raw polysilicon and silicon ingots for our current and future needs."

Shares were down 84 cents, or 2.6%, at $31.71 in recent trading Thursday.

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