Stocks largely took a pause on Wednesday, with performance near the flatline for most of the major market benchmarks, as investors struggled with some conflicting readings on the U.S. economy and a continuing onslaught of earnings results. Yet even with little change among the major indexes, SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR ) , SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU ) , and Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS ) all posted substantial gains as they reported encouraging news for their respective businesses.
SunPower jumped 7% after the solar-development company announced a program with Google to help finance about $250 million in residential solar leases. Google will contribute $100 million, while SunPower will add $150 million to help thousands of homeowners obtain financing for their solar-power systems. Although the deals enable customers to control their utility costs and guarantee lower-priced electricity sources through their own rooftop systems, SunPower can also benefit from tax credits and other incentives assigned by homeowners as part of their long-term agreement. Given how essential financing is to the entire solar-lease business model, the partnership should help SunPower immensely in its quest to compete in residential solar.
SUPERVALU gained nearly 12% after the grocery store chain released its fourth-quarter results this morning. The once-ailing grocer beat earnings estimates and posted a profit for the quarter, reversing a year-ago loss and picking up positive comps of 2.1% for its Save-A-Lot stores. SUPERVALU is just a shell of its former self, having sold off most of its best-known chains in order to concentrate on Save-A-Lot and some regional businesses. So far, though, that strategy appears to be working, and shareholders were rewarded today for their patience.
Skyworks Solutions rose almost 10% after the maker of wireless chips issued positive quarterly results last night and also raised its guidance for the current quarter. Skyworks has its best opportunity in the Internet of Things trend, as its focus on connecting devices gives the company some competitive advantages over rivals that have focused on smartphones and more traditional wireless applications. If Skyworks can use its expertise to take full advantage of the Internet of Things, the area could provide huge growth in the near future.
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