SunPower (SPWR) and Japan are a match made in heaven. This California-based manufacturer is best known for holding the world record of 24% for solar cell conversion efficiency and can charge a premium for it. Japan’s demand for high efficiency panels helped boost Asia Pacific sales for SunPower by 63% year-over-year in the third quarter. As a result, the company sees a need to expand its capacity by 25%.
SunPower is also very active in commercial installations in the U.S., taking on huge projects for Apple (AAPL), Verizon (VZ) and Macy’s (M). It has a $1 billion backlog in this arena with installations projected to take two to three years to complete. SunPower is up an astronomical 400% year-to-date.