Here, slather on some of this sunblock. It's awfully sunny where we're going, and you know what they say about UV rays.
Solar power isn't yet the most efficient power source, nor the most pervasive. But a quick drive around my hometown shows an increasing number of roof-mounted power panels, and companies like Microsoft
Riding the crest of this solar power wave is Chinese solar cell manufacturer SunTechPower
Sales grew like wildfire -- thanks to a new production line pumping out solar cells, higher average prices per megawatt of cells sold, and expansion into several exciting new markets such as Greece, Japan, and France. Perhaps more importantly, operating costs were kept on a tight leash -- except for R&D expenses, and you may already know how I feel about the importance of R&D to growing tech companies. The resulting 20.7% net margin made last year's 3.4% margin look silly, and it was a decent follow-up to last quarter's 21.4% mark.
The company continues to plan for the future as well, as evidenced by the R&D investment and a long-term materials supply contract with MEMC Electronic Materials
- SunTech is probably wise to lock in silicon prices now.
- Is BP pulling its weight in alternative power?
- Solar power is hot, hot, hot!
- And it can lead to outrageous growth.
SunTech is a Rule Breakers recommendation, Microsoft is an Inside Value pick, Johnson & Johnson has been singled out for our Income Investor readers, and FedEx is a Stock Advisor choice. The companies investing in solar power look like quality outfits, indeed. Try a free 30-day pass to any of our services to learn more.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, and has no solar panels on his roof -- yet. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like. Foolish disclosure is always fully powered.