Interview with SunPower CEO Thomas Werner (SPWR)

Includes: SPWR, STP

Red Herring recently conducted an interview with SunPower (ticker: SPWR) CEO Thomas Werner. Key extracts:

Q: Why do you think SunPower has been getting so much attention?

A: We have truly unique technology. Nobody else makes a back-contact cell. We’re also one of the few American pure-plays, and that makes us different as well. We also have the potential to get costs down to economic parity, and that gets investors’ interest. People want to get into what we’re doing.

Q: Some other companies have said that the attention is undeserved considering that you’re not profitable. Suntech Power, for instance, also went public last year and reported a profit of $23 million in the first nine months of 2005. What’s your response to that?

A: On a non-GAAP basis, we make money. We had a loss last quarter on a GAAP basis, but that was because of push-down intangibles—nothing to do with our operations.

It’s true we’re not as profitable as some of the big guys. We’re probably a year or two behind. Our economics look something like Suntech Power, but offset by a couple of years.

Full Red Herring interview here.

SPWR 1-Yr Price Performance: