Solarfun Smiles All the Way to the Bank

Solarfun Power (Nasdaq: SOLF  ) might sound like a rockin' Beach Boys tune, but it's actually a rockin' investment. Feel free to smile if you're a shareholder in this Chinese solar power specialist, because the stock is up nearly 20% today after the fourth-quarter results came in overnight.

The company shipped out photovoltaic modules with a capacity of 28.1 megawatts in the fourth quarter of 2007, up nearly threefold over the year-ago volume. Total revenue quadrupled to $135.4 million, and net earnings doubled year over year to $9.1 million. Earnings per depositary share were up 4% sequentially to $0.19 per ADS, compared to $0.18 in the third quarter.

Solarfun is still a much smaller operator than fellow Chinese silicon tanners Suntech Power (NYSE: STP  ) or JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO  ) , not to mention SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR  ) out of San Jose, Calif. But solar power is hot right now (plenty of pun intended), and Solarfun is growing with the best of them. If it keeps churning out hypergrowth quarters like this one, there could be many more 20% overnight share price leaps to come.

The sector looks ready for some consolidation, but the multinational spread of the competitors means that it will take a long time to settle the details. In the meantime, we might see smaller mergers and acquisitions with a local flavor. But whether or not a buyout is in the cards for Solarfun -- or any of its smallish rivals, for that matter -- the world is clamoring for alternative power sources and the demand spike should support lots of growth.

Now, where did Daddy park that T-bird?

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