10-K 1 spwra_01012012x10-k.htm FORM 10-K SPWRA_01.01.2012_10-K
 
 
 
 
 
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
___________________________________

FORM 10-K
___________________________________

x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
 
For the fiscal year ended January 1, 2012
 
 
 
OR
 
 
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from ______________ to ______________

Commission file number 001-34166
SunPower Corporation
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
Delaware
 
94-3008969
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
77 Rio Robles, San Jose, California 95134
(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (408) 240-5500

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock $0.001 par value
Nasdaq Global Select Market
d
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None
(Title of Class)
_________________________________________

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  o    No  x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 of Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  o    No  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes  x    No  o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large Accelerated Filer  x
Accelerated Filer  o
Non-accelerated filer  o
Smaller reporting company  o
 
 
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes  o    No  x

The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on July 3, 2011 was $710.3 million. Such aggregate market value was computed by reference to the closing price of the common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on July 1, 2011. For purposes of determining this amount only, the registrant has defined affiliates as including Total Gas & Power USA, SAS and the executive officers and directors of registrant on July 1, 2011.

The total number of outstanding shares of the registrant’s common stock as of February 24, 2012 was 117,362,249.


DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Parts of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s 2012 annual meeting of stockholders are incorporated by reference in Items 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
 
 
 
 




TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
Page
PART I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART III
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART IV
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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Trademarks

The following terms, among others, are our trademarks and may be used in this report: SunPower®, PowerGuard®, SunTile®, PowerTracker®, and PowerLight®. Other trademarks appearing in this report are the property of their holders, where noted.

Unit of Power

When referring to our facilities’ manufacturing capacity, total sales and components sales, the unit of electricity in watts for kilowatts ("KW"), megawatts ("MW"), and gigawatts ("GW") is direct current ("dc"). When referring to our solar power systems, the unit of electricity in watts for KW, MW, and GW is alternating current ("ac").

Levelized Cost of Energy ("LCOE")

The LCOE equation is an evaluation of the life-cycle energy cost and life-cycle energy production of an energy producing system. It allows alternative technologies to be compared when different scales of operation, investment or operating time periods exist. It captures capital costs and ongoing system-related costs, along with the amount of electricity produced, and converts them into a common metric. Key drivers for LCOE reduction for photovoltaic products include panel efficiency, capacity factors, reliable system performance, and the life of the system.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts and the assumptions underlying such statements. We use words such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "potential," "will," "would," "should," and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, but are not limited to, our plans and expectations regarding future financial results, expected operating results, business strategies, projected costs and cost reduction, products, ability to monetize utility projects, competitive positions, management's plans and objectives for future operations, the sufficiency of our cash and our liquidity, our ability to obtain financing, the availability of credit support from Total S.A. under the Credit Support Agreement, the ability to comply with debt covenants, trends in average selling prices, plans and expectations regarding the Liquidity Support Facility (see Item 9B), the success of our joint ventures and acquisitions, expected capital expenditures, warranty matters, outcomes of litigation, our exposure to foreign exchange, interest and credit risk, general business and economic conditions, industry trends, impact of changes in government incentives, expected restructuring charges, and the likelihood of any impairment of project assets, long-lived assets, goodwill, and intangible assets. These forward-looking statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and current expectations, forecasts and assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond our control. Please see "Part I. Item 1A: Risk Factors" herein and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") for additional information on risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date, and we are under no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any responsibility to, update or alter our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The following information should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our fiscal year ends on the Sunday closest to the end of the applicable calendar year. All references to fiscal periods apply to our fiscal quarter or year which ends on the Sunday closest to the calendar month end.


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PART I


ITEM 1: BUSINESS

We are a vertically integrated solar products and services company that designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial, and utility-scale power plant customers. Of all the solar cells available for the mass market, we believe our solar cells have the highest conversion efficiency, a measurement of the amount of sunlight converted by the solar cell into electricity.

We believe our solar cells provide the following benefits compared with conventional solar cells:
 
superior performance, including the ability to generate up to 50% more power per unit area than conventional solar cells;

superior aesthetics, with our uniformly black surface design that eliminates highly visible reflective grid lines and metal interconnect ribbons;

more KW per pound can be transported using less packaging, resulting in lower distribution costs; and

more efficient use of silicon, a key raw material used in the manufacture of solar cells.

The high efficiency and superior aesthetics of our solar power products provide compelling customer benefits. In many situations, we offer a significantly lower area-related cost structure for our customers because our solar panels require a substantially smaller roof or land area than conventional solar technology and half or less of the roof or land area of many commercial solar thin film technologies.
 
We believe our solar power systems provide the following benefits compared with various competitors' systems:

channel breadth and flexible delivery capability, including turn-key systems;

high performance delivered by enhancing energy delivery and financial return through systems technology design; and

cutting edge systems design to meet customer needs and reduce cost, including non-penetrating, fast roof installation technologies.

Our solar power systems are designed to generate electricity over a system life typically exceeding 25 years and are designed to be used in residential, commercial, and large-scale applications. Our large-scale applications typically have system ratings of more than 500 KW. In our history, we have shipped more than 2,200 MW of SunPower solar products worldwide. We sell distributed rooftop and ground-mounted solar power systems as well as central-station power plants globally. In the United States, distributed solar power systems are typically either rated at: (i) more than 500 KW of capacity to provide a supplemental, distributed source of electricity for a customer's facility; or (ii) ground mount systems reaching up to hundreds of MWs for regulated utilities. In the United States and Europe, commercial and electric utility customers typically choose to purchase solar electricity under a power purchase agreement ("PPA") with an investor or financing company that buys the system from us. In Europe, our products and systems are typically purchased by an investor or financing company and operated as central-station solar power plants. These power plants are rated with capacities of approximately 1 to 50 MW, and generate electricity for sale under tariff to private and public utilities.

Business Segments Overview

Our President and Chief Executive Officer, as the chief operating decision maker ("CODM"), has organized our company and manages resource allocations and measures performance of our company's activities between two business segments: the Utility and Power Plants ("UPP") Segment and the Residential and Commercial ("R&C") Segment. Our UPP Segment refers to our large-scale solar products and systems business, which includes power plant project development and project sales, turn-key engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") services for power plant construction, and power plant operations and maintenance ("O&M") services. Our UPP Segment also sells components, including large volume sales of solar panels and mounting systems to third parties, sometimes on a multi-year, firm commitment basis. Our R&C Segment focuses on solar equipment sales into the residential and small commercial market through our third-party global dealer

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network, as well as direct sales and EPC and O&M services in the United States and Europe for rooftop and ground-mounted solar power systems for the new homes, commercial and public sectors.
 
Our UPP revenue for fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009 was $1,064.1 million, $1,186.1 million, and $653.5 million, respectively, and our R&C revenue for fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009 was $1,248.4 million, $1,033.2 million, and $870.8 million, respectively. For more information about the financial condition and results of operations of each segment, please see Part II - "Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Item 8: Financial Statements and Supplementary Data."

Change in Segment Reporting: In December 2011, we announced a reorganization of the Company to align our business and cost structure with expected market conditions in 2012 and beyond. The reorganization did not impact segment reporting in fiscal 2011 as our CODM continues to manage resource allocations and measure performance of the Company's activities between the UPP and R&C Segments while we are implementing our new organizational strategy. We are in the process of determining our new segments and making decisions internally on how we will manage the new segments, allocate resources, and assess performance.

Our Products and Services

Products

Solar Cells

Solar cells are semiconductor devices that directly convert sunlight into direct current electricity. Our A-300 solar cell is a silicon solar cell with a specified power value of 3.1 watts and a conversion efficiency averaging between 20.0% and 21.5%. Our A-330 solar cell delivers 3.3 watts with a conversion efficiency of up to 22.7%. Our solar cells are designed without highly reflective metal contact grids or current collection ribbons on the front of the solar cells. This feature enables our solar cells to be assembled into solar panels that exhibit a more uniform appearance than conventional solar panels.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are solar cells electrically connected together and encapsulated in a weatherproof panel. We believe solar panels made with our solar cells are the highest efficiency solar panels available for the mass market. Because our solar cells are more efficient relative to conventional solar cells, when our solar cells are assembled into panels, the assembly cost per watt is less because more power can be incorporated into a given size panel. Higher solar panel efficiency allows installers to mount a solar power system with more power within a given roof or site area and can reduce per watt installation costs. We also sell a line of Serengeti™ branded solar panels manufactured by third parties, however this line is winding down as we believe we now have sufficient capacity in the cost structure to meet the needs of our customers with our high efficiency SunPower® series panels. The following SunPower® solar panel series are incorporated into our solar power systems and are available to provide customers with the right solution to fit their needs:

SunPower® E18 Series Solar Panel ("E18")

Available in a 72-cell configuration, the E18 series panel uses our A300 all back-contact solar cells and delivers a total panel conversion of 18.1% to 18.5%. The E18 panel is available with our signature black backsheet which combines high efficiency with a sleek, black appearance to blend elegantly with the roof. E18 panels feature high transmission tempered front glass and a sturdy anodized frame allowing panels to operate reliably in multiple mounting configurations. The E18 panel's reduced voltage-temperature coefficient and exceptional low-light performance attributes provide outstanding energy delivery per peak power watt.

SunPower® E19 Series Solar Panel ("E19")

Available in a 72, 96, and 128-cell configuration, the E19 series panel uses our A300 all back-contact solar cells and delivers total panel conversion of 19.3% to 19.7%. The E19 panel features high transmission tempered glass with anti-reflective coating which allows for more diffuse off-angle light to be captured. The coating and larger area cells result in a darker, more aesthetically-pleasing appearance.

SunPower® E20 Series Solar Panel ("E20")


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Introduced in June 2011, the E20 series panel holds the world record for efficiency among commercially available, mass-produced solar cells. Available in a 96-cell configuration, the E20 series panel uses our A-330 all back-contact solar cells and delivers total panel conversion of up to 20.1%. With comprehensive inverter compatibility, E20 panels can be used with both inverters that require transformers as well as the highest performing transformer-less inverters to maximize output. E20 panels are additionally equipped with a positive power tolerance rating which ensures that the power generated by each panel meets that panel's rating, or up to five percent more.

The development of the E20 solar panel series is a direct result of the investment in SunPower by the United States Department of Energy through its Solar America Initiative program. The E20 rating was further confirmed by the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab.

Inverters

Every solar power system needs an inverter to transform the direct current electricity collected from the solar panels into utility-grade alternating current power that is ready for household use. We sell a line of SunPower branded inverters manufactured by third parties.

Solar Power Systems

We offer several types of rooftop and ground-mounted solar products. The following tiles and systems are included within our suite of products:

Roof Mounted Products

SunPower® T-5 Solar Roof Tile System ("T-5")

Tilted at a 5-degree angle, the T-5 roof tile was the industry's first all-in-one non-penetrating photovoltaic rooftop product that combines solar panel, frame, and mounting system into one pre-engineered unit. The all-in-one mounting system and frame is made from an engineered glass-filled polymer that is non-reactive, eliminating the need for electrical grounding of the array. The patented design is adaptable to virtually any flat or low-slope rooftop while providing the roof membrane protection from corrosion. The tiles further interlock for wind resistance and secure installation. Since the T-5 solar roof tile typically weighs less than three pounds per square foot and is stacked for shipping, more KW per pound can be transported using less packaging, resulting in lower distribution costs. These benefits make the T-5 solar roof tile easier and faster to install than other rooftop systems as well as an effective solution for area or weight constrained flat rooftops.

The development of the T-5 solar roof tile is a direct result of the investment in SunPower by the United States Department of Energy through its Solar America Initiative program.

The T-5 solar roof tile systems are primarily sold through our R&C Segment.

SunPower® T-10 Commercial Solar Roof Tiles ("T-10")

Tilted at a 10-degree angle, the T-10 commercial solar roof tiles can allow for generation of up to 10% more annual energy output than traditional flat roof-mounted systems, depending on geographical location and local climate conditions. These non-penetrating panels interlock for secure, rapid installation without compromising the structural integrity of the roof. Further, the lightweight tile weighs less than four pounds per square foot. Sloped side and rear wind deflectors improve wind performance, allowing T-10 solar arrays to withstand winds up to 120 miles per hour. Performance is optimized for larger roofs with less space constraints as well as underutilized tracks of land, such as ground reservoirs.

The T-10 commercial solar roof tile is primarily sold through our R&C Segment.

PowerGuard® Roof System ("PowerGuard")

PowerGuard is a non-penetrating roof-mounted solar panel that delivers reliable, clean electricity while insulating and protecting the roof membrane from ultraviolet rays and thermal degradation to save both heating and cooling energy expenses. Designed for quick and easy installation, the tiles fit together with

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interlocking tongue-and-groove side surfaces which operate within the existing roof line and electrical system. Each tile consists of a solar laminate, lightweight cement substrate and styrofoam base and typically weighs approximately four pounds per square foot, which is supported by most commercial rooftops. The lightweight construction is integrated with a patented pressure equalizing design that has been tested to withstand winds of up to 140 miles per hour. Moreover, certain other conventional systems add weight for stability against wind and weather, which may exceed weight limits for some commercial buildings' roofs. The PowerGuard roof system has been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. ("UL") and has received a UL-listed Class B fire rating which we believe facilitates obtaining building permits and inspector approvals. These systems have been installed in a broad range of climates principally in the United States and Switzerland, and on a wide variety of building types, from rural single story warehouses to urban high rise structures.

The PowerGuard roof system is primarily sold through our R&C Segment.

SunTile® Roof Integrated System ("SunTile")

Our patented SunTile® product is a highly efficient solar power shingle roofing system utilizing our solar cell technology that is designed to integrate with conventional residential roofing materials. SunTile solar shingles are designed to replace multiple types of roof panels, including the most common concrete flat, low and high profile “S” tile and composition shingles. We believe that SunTile systems are less visible on a roof than conventional solar technology because the solar panel is integrated directly into the roofing material instead of mounted onto the roof. SunTile systems have a UL-listed Class A fire rating, which is the highest level of fire rating provided by UL, and are designed to be incorporated by production home builders into the construction of their new homes.

The SunTile roof system is primarily sold through our R&C Segment.

Ground Mounted Products

SunPower® T-0 Tracker ("T-0") & SunPower® T-20 Tracker ("T-20")

The T-0 and T-20 trackers are single-axis tracking systems that automatically pivot solar panels to track the sun's movement throughout the day. This tracking feature increases the amount of sunlight that is captured and converted into energy by up to 30% over flat or fixed-tilt systems, depending on geographic location and local climate conditions. A single motor and drive mechanism can control 10 to 20 rows, or more than 200 KW of solar panels. This multi-row feature represents a cost advantage for our customers over dual axis tracking systems, as such systems require more motors, drives, land, and power to operate per KW of capacity. The SunPower Tracker system can be assembled onsite, and is easily scalable. These trackers feature our TMAC Advanced Tracker Controller ("TMAC") software, which includes real-time tracker status updates, remote (wireless) monitoring and control, proprietary energy production optimization algorithms, and improved reliability. The T-0 and T-20 trackers have been installed in a wide range of geographical markets principally in the United States, Germany, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, and Spain.

The T-0 and T-20 trackers are sold through both our UPP and R&C Segments.

SunPower Oasis™ Power Plant ("SunPower Oasis")

The Oasis is the industry's first modular solar power block that scales from 1 MW distributed installations to large central station power plants. Oasis provides a fully integrated, cost-effective way to rapidly deploy utility-scale solar power systems, streaming the development and construction process while optimizing the use of available land. Each power block integrates the SunPower T-0 tracker, a 400-watt utility solar panel, pre-manufactured cabling, and our TMAC software. The power block kits are shipped pre-assembled to the job site for rapid field installation, and offer a high capacity factor and reliable long-term performance. The Oasis operating system is designed to support future grid interconnection requirements for large-scale solar power plants, such as voltage ride through and power factor control. It features a utility-standard supervisory control and data acquisition ("SCADA") operation and analytical tools, which include intelligent sensor and control networks for optimized power plant operation. The Oasis streamlines the entire power plant development process, from permitting through construction and financing.


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The SunPower Oasis is sold through our UPP Segment.

SunPower® C-7 Tracker ("C-7")

Named for its ability to concentrate the Sun's energy by 7 times, the C-7 delivers the lowest levelized cost of electricity for utility scale deployment available today. The C-7 combines a horizontal single-axis tracker with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto linear arrays of our high efficiency solar cells. This tracker's components come factory preassembled enabling rapid installation using standard tools and requiring no specialized field expertise.

The C-7 tracker is sold through our UPP Segment.

Fixed Tilt and SunPower® Tracker Systems for Parking Structures

SunPower has developed and patented designs for solar power systems for parking structures in multiple configurations. These dual-use systems typically incorporate solar panels into the roof of a carport or similar structure to deliver onsite solar power while providing shade and protection. Aesthetically-pleasing, standardized and scalable, they are well suited for parking lots adjacent to facilities. SunPower Tracker technology can be incorporated for elevated parking structures to provide a differentiated product to our customers.

Fixed Tilt and SunPower Tracker Systems for parking structures are sold through both our UPP and R&C Segments.

Other System Offerings

We have other products that leverage our core systems. For example, our metal roof system is designed for sloped-metal roof buildings, which are used in some winery and warehouse applications. This solar power system is designed for rapid installation. We also offer other architectural products such as day lighting with translucent solar panels.

Balance of System Components

"Balance of system components" are components of a solar power system other than the solar panels, and include SunPower branded inverters, mounting structures, charge controllers, grid interconnection equipment, and other devices depending on the specific requirements of a particular system and project.

Services

We provide our solar power plant customers end-to-end management of the project lifecycle, from early stage site assessment, financing support, and project development, including full-scale environmental and construction permitting, through engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning. Our projects are built incorporating industry-leading standards for safety, quality, performance, and reliability. Once tested, our plant O&M organization provides customers with "utility-quality" data collection, performance monitoring, diagnostic and performance reporting services, as well as lifecycle asset planning and management with industry leading software applications.

Operations and Maintenance

Our solar power systems are designed to generate electricity over a system life typically exceeding 25 years. We provide commissioning, warranty, administration, operations, maintenance, and performance monitoring services with the objective of optimizing our customers' electrical energy production. Commissioning services include testing to verify that equipment and system performance meet design requirements and specifications. We also pass through to customers long-term warranties from the original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") of certain system components. We provide warranties of 25 years for our solar panels, which is standard in the solar industry, while our inverters typically carry warranty periods ranging from 5 to 10 years. In addition, we generally warrant our workmanship on installed systems for periods ranging up to 10 years. Systems under warranty and systems under a performance monitoring contract use our proprietary software systems to collect and remotely analyze equipment operating and system performance data from all of our sites in our offices located in the United States and the Philippines. We offer our customers a comprehensive suite of solar power system maintenance services ranging from system monitoring, to preventive maintenance, to rapid-response outage restoration and inverter repair. Our Performance Monitoring Service Agreement includes continuous remote monitoring, inverter outage notification, system performance

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website access, and a 24/7 technical support line. Our Performance Basic Service Agreement adds preventive maintenance to the Standard Monitoring Services Agreement, and our Performance Plus Service Agreement includes all of the Performance Basic Service Agreement features plus on-site troubleshooting and corrective maintenance using regionally-located field service technicians.

Monitoring

Our O&M personnel have access to a powerful set of tools developed on industry leading information technology platforms that facilitate the management of a global fleet of commercial and utility scale photovoltaic power plants. Real time flow of data from our customers' sites is aggregated centrally where an engine applies advanced solar specific algorithms to detect and report potential performance issues. Our work management system routes any anomalies to the appropriate responders to ensure timely resolution. The enterprise asset management system stores the operational history of thousands of systems sold and delivered through our UPP and R&C Segments. We have implemented highly automated workflow processes that minimize the time from detection to analysis to dispatch and repair. Our O&M photovoltaic fleet management systems are built on more than a decade of solar services experience, allowing us to provide premier O&M services to our customers worldwide.

We have developed a proprietary set of advanced monitoring applications built upon the leading electric utility real-time monitoring platform (the "SunPower Monitoring System"). The SunPower Monitoring System continuously scans the operational status and performance of the solar power system and automatically identifies system outages and performance deficiencies to our 24/7 monitoring technicians. Customers can access historical or daily system performance data through our customer website (www.sunpowermonitor.com). Some customers choose to install "digital signs" to display system performance information from the lobby of their facility. We believe these displays enhance our brand and educate the public and prospective customers about solar power.

In 2008, we released the SunPower Monitoring System, and in 2009, we released the industry’s first monitoring application for the Apple iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad® mobile devices. In 2011, we expanded our monitoring application to Android devices as well. With the addition of these applications to the SunPower Monitoring System, residential customers now have four easy ways to access information about the energy generated by their SunPower solar power systems. Along with the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android applications, the SunPower Monitoring System offers homeowners the ability to monitor SunPower solar power systems with a wireless, in-home wall-mounted liquid crystal display ("LCD") that provides power production and cumulative energy information. The monitoring system also provides the convenience of Internet access to a solar power system’s performance from virtually anywhere. Customers can view a system’s energy performance and environmental savings on an hourly, monthly, and annual basis.

Solar Park Project Development

Our power plant development and project teams have established a scalable, fully integrated, vertical approach to developing utility-scale photovoltaic power plants in a sustainable way. Our power plant development and project finance teams evaluate sites for solar developments; obtain land rights through purchase and lease options; conduct environmental and grid transmission studies; and obtain building, construction and grid-interconnection permits, licenses, and regulatory approvals.

The plants and project development rights, initially owned by us, are sold to third parties through our UPP Segment. In the United States, commercial and electric utility customers typically choose to purchase solar electricity under a PPA with an investor or financing company that buys the system from us. In Europe and Israel, the projects are typically purchased by an investor or financing company and operated as central-station solar power plants.

For more information about the costs associated with solar park project development see "Item 1A: Risk Factors" including "We may make significant investments in building solar power plants without first obtaining project financing, and the delayed sale of our projects would adversely affect our business, liquidity, and results of operations" and "Due to the general economic environment, the continued market pressure driving down the average selling prices of our solar power products, and other factors, we may be unable to generate sufficient cash flows or obtain access to external financing necessary to fund our operations and make adequate capital investments as planned."

Financing Options

We offer to arrange an array of financing options for our customers primarily by partnering with third-party financial institutions. The financing options range from simple loans, to capital and operating leases, to long-term, multi-party PPAs, and

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third-party ownership structures. For example, we offer a solar lease program under our R&C Segment with certain available financing capacity, which allows customers to obtain SunPower systems under lease agreements for terms of up to 20 years. The solar lease program allows for low monthly payments with little or no money down, and options for the customer to purchase the system during or at the end of the lease. Leased residential systems are supported by system maintenance, insurance, and performance guarantees.

Research and Development

We engage in extensive research and development efforts to improve solar cell efficiency through enhancement of our existing products, development of new techniques such as concentrating photovoltaic power, and reducing manufacturing cost and complexity. Our research and development group works closely with our manufacturing facilities, our equipment suppliers and our customers to improve our solar cell design and to lower solar cell, solar panel and system product manufacturing and assembly costs. In addition, we have dedicated employees who work closely with our current and potential suppliers of crystalline silicon, a key raw material used in the manufacture of our solar cells, to develop specifications that meet our standards and ensure the high quality we require, while at the same time controlling costs. Under our Research & Collaboration Agreement with Total Gas & Power USA, SAS ("Total"), our majority stockholder, we have established a joint committee to engage in long-term research and development projects with continued focus on maintaining and expanding our technology position in the crystalline silicon domain and ensuring our industrial competitiveness. See Note 2 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II - "Item 8: Financial Statements and Supplemental Data."

We have government contracts that enable us to develop new technologies and pursue additional research opportunities while helping to offset our research and development expense. In fiscal 2007, we signed a Solar America Initiative research and development agreement with the United States Department of Energy under which we were awarded $24.1 million. The award was fully funded by the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2010. During fiscal 2011, we have executed new research and development agreements with the United States federal government and California state agencies. Further payments received under these contracts will offset some of our R&D expense in future periods.     

 For more information about these contracts, including the government’s rights to use technology developed as a result of such contracts, please see "Item 1A: Risk Factors" including "Our past reliance on government programs to partially fund our research and development programs could impair our ability to commercialize our solar power products and services."

Supplier Relationships, Manufacturing, and Module Assembly

We purchase polysilicon, ingots, wafers, solar cells, third-party standard efficiency solar panels, and balance of system components from various manufacturers, including joint ventures, on both a contracted and a purchase order basis. We have contracted with some of our suppliers for multi-year supply agreements. Under such agreements, we have annual minimum purchase obligations and in certain cases prepayment obligations. We currently believe our supplier relationships and various short- and long-term contracts will afford us the volume of material and services required to meet our planned output. For more information about risks related to our supply chain, please see "Item 1A: Risk Factors" including "Limited competition among suppliers has required us in some instances to enter into long-term, firm commitment supply agreements that could result in excess or insufficient inventory and place us at a competitive disadvantage on pricing."

We are working with our suppliers and partners along all steps of the value chain to reduce costs by improving manufacturing technologies and expanding economies of scale. Crystalline silicon is the leading commercial material for solar cells and is used in several forms, including single-crystalline, or monocrystalline silicon, multicrystalline, or polycrystalline silicon, ribbon and sheet silicon, and thin-layer silicon. Our solar cell value chain starts with high purity silicon called polysilicon. Polysilicon is created by refining quartz or sand. We have negotiated multiple long-term, fixed price contracts with large polysilicon suppliers.

Polysilicon is melted and grown into crystalline ingots by companies specializing in ingot growth, such as our supplier Woongjin Energy Co., Ltd. ("Woongjin Energy") located in South Korea. The ingots are sliced into wafers by our joint venture First Philec Solar Corporation ("First Philec Solar") located in the Philippines, and by other vendors. The wafers are processed into solar cells in our two manufacturing facilities located in the Philippines and by our joint venture AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd. ("AUOSP") located in Malaysia. Our first facility ("FAB1") is 215,000 square feet and began operations in the fall of 2004. In August 2006, we purchased a 344,000 square foot building in the Philippines ("FAB2"), which is located approximately 20 miles from FAB1, and began operations in the summer of 2007. We currently operate four solar cell manufacturing lines and twelve solar cell manufacturing lines at FAB1 and FAB2, respectively, with a total rated annual solar cell manufacturing capacity of 700 MW.


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In December 2010, we announced the inauguration of AUOSP, SunPower's joint venture solar cell manufacturing facility ("FAB3") in Malaysia with AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO"). The construction and ramp up of FAB3, located in Melaka, south of Kuala Lumpur, will continue through 2014, and when completed, is expected to generate more than 1,400 MW annually. FAB3 began production in October 2010 and as of January 1, 2012 operates twelve solar cell manufacturing lines with a total rated annual solar cell manufacturing capacity of 600 MW.

Using our solar cells, we manufacture our solar panels at our solar panel assembly facilities located in the Philippines and Mexico. In our Philippines facility, we currently operate fourteen solar panel assembly lines with a total rated annual solar panel manufacturing capacity of 600 MW. In August 2011, we leased an additional facility in Mexicali, Mexico which will serve as another solar panel assembly facility. We currently operate two solar panel assembly lines in our Mexico facility. When fully online, the Mexico facility will house twelve solar panel assembly lines with an expected total manufacturing capacity of approximately 500 MW. Our solar panels are also assembled for us by third-party contract manufacturers in China, Mexico, Poland, and California.

We source the solar panels and balance of system components based on quality, performance, and cost considerations both internally and from third-party suppliers. We generally assemble proprietary components, such as cementitious coatings and certain adhesive applications, while we purchase generally available components from third-party suppliers. Certain of our products, such as our SunTile products, are assembled at our third-party contractors’ assembly plant prior to shipment to the project location. Other products such as our SunPower Tracker and SunPower T-10 commercial roof tiles are field assembled with components shipped directly from suppliers. The balance of system components can make up as much as two-thirds of the cost of a solar power system. Therefore, we are focused on standardizing our products with the goal of driving down installation costs, such as with our SunPower Oasis operating system.

Customers

In our UPP Segment, our customers typically include investors, financial institutions, project developers, electric utilities, and independent power producers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In our R&C Segment, we primarily sell our products to commercial and governmental entities, production home builders, and our third-party global dealer network serving residential owners and small commercial building owners. In the residential homeowner market, we sell our products to customers primarily in the United States, Australia, and Europe while our commercial, governmental, and production home builders are typically in the United States.

We work with development, construction, system integration, and financing companies to deliver our solar power systems to wholesale sellers, retail sellers, and retail users of electricity. In the United States, we often work with investors and financing companies that purchase solar power systems from us, and they then sell solar electricity generated from these systems under PPAs to utilities or end-use customers. End-use customers typically pay the investors and financing companies over an extended period of time based on energy they consume from the solar power systems, rather than paying for the full capital cost of purchasing the solar power systems. In our history, we have shipped more than 2,200 MW of SunPower solar products worldwide. In addition, our dealer network and our new homes division have deployed thousands of SunPower rooftop solar power systems to residential customers.

We sell our products in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia, principally in regions where government incentives have accelerated solar power adoption. We have offices in markets such as Australia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, and Spain. We anticipate developing additional customer relationships in other markets and geographic regions as we expand our business. We generally do not have long-term agreements with our customers, see "Item 1A: Risk Factors" including "We often do not have long-term agreements with our customers and accordingly could lose customers without warning, which could cause our operating results to decline."

The table below represents our significant customers which accounted for greater than 10 percent of total revenue, accounts receivable, or costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings during fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009. We had no customers that accounted for 10 percent or more of total revenue in fiscal 2011.
 
 
Year Ended
Revenue
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Significant Customers:
 
Business Segment
 
 
 
 
 
 
Customer A
 
Utility and power plants
 
*
 
12
%
 
*

Customer B
 
Utility and power plants
 
*
 
*

 
12
%

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As of
Accounts receivable
 
 
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
Significant Customer:
 
Business Segment
 
 
 
 
 
 
Customer C
 
Utility and power plants
 
 
 
20
%
 
*

Customer D
 
Utility and power plants
 
 
 
*

 
11
%
 
 
 
 
As of
Cost in excess of billings
 
 
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
Significant Customer:
 
Business Segment
 
 
 
 
 
 
Customer E
 
Utility and power plants
 
 
 
21
%
 
*

Customer F
 
Utility and power plants
 
 
 
*

 
17
%
Customer G
 
Utility and power plants
 
 
 
*

 
15
%

 *    denotes less than 10% during the period

Geographic Information

Information regarding the physical location of our property, plant and equipment and our foreign and domestic operations is contained in Note 6 and Note 17, respectively, of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II - "Item 8: Financial Statements and Supplemental Data," which information is incorporated herein by reference.

Seasonal Trends

Our business is subject to industry-specific seasonal fluctuations. Sales have historically reflected these seasonal trends with the largest percentage of total revenues realized during the last two calendar quarters of a fiscal year. Lower seasonal demand normally results in reduced shipments and revenues in the first two calendar quarters of a fiscal year. There are various reasons for this seasonality, mostly related to economic incentives and weather patterns. For example, in European countries with feed-in tariffs, the construction of solar power systems may be concentrated during the second half of the calendar year, largely due to the annual reduction of the applicable minimum feed-in tariff and the fact that the coldest winter months are January through March. In the United States, customers will sometimes make purchasing decisions towards the end of the year in order to take advantage of tax credits or for other budgetary reasons. In addition, sales in the new home development market are often tied to construction market demands which tend to follow national trends in construction, including declining sales during cold weather months.

Marketing and Sales

We market and sell solar electric power technologies worldwide through a direct sales force and through our third-party global dealer network. We sell products and services to residential, commercial, utility and power plant customers.

Through both our R&C and UPP Segments, we have direct sales personnel, and within our R&C Segment, we also have dealer representatives. Our direct sales personnel and dealer representatives are located in Australia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. During fiscal 2011, we expanded the size of our dealer network to approximately 1,800 dealers worldwide from 1,500 in fiscal 2010 and 1,000 in fiscal 2009. Our dealer network in the United States serves over 40 states. We have three dealership tiers in the program: Elite, Premier, and Authorized. Approximately 10% to 15% of the dealers in the United States have earned Elite status and approximately 25% to 35% have earned Premier status. We provide warranty coverage on systems we sell through our direct sales personnel and dealers through both the UPP and R&C Segments. To the extent we sell through dealers, we may provide system design and support services while the dealers are responsible for construction, maintenance, and service.

Our overall marketing programs include conferences and seminars, website and social media campaigns, sales training, public relations, and advertising. Our marketing group is also responsible for driving many qualified leads to support our sales teams lead generation efforts and assessing the productivity of our lead pipeline. For our R&C Segment, we assist our dealer network through a marketing resource center and customer support organization. We have marketing personnel in San Jose and Richmond, California, and Trenton, New Jersey, United States, as well as in Frankfurt, Germany, Madrid, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland.


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Backlog

Our solar power system project backlog within our North American commercial business and our systems business within the R&C Segment and UPP Segment, respectively, represents the uncompleted portion of contracted and financed projects. Contingent customer orders that are not yet financed are excluded from backlog as of January 2, 2011. Our solar power system projects are often cancelable by our customers under certain conditions. In addition, revenue and related costs are often subject to delays or scope modifications based on change orders agreed to with our customers, or changes in the estimated construction costs to be incurred in completing the project.

Our residential and light commercial business and the components business within the R&C Segment and UPP Segment, respectively, include large volume sales of solar panels, mounting systems, and other solar equipment to third parties, which are typically ordered by our third-party global dealer network and customers under standard purchase orders with relatively short delivery lead-times, generally within one to three months. We have entered into multi-year supply agreements with certain customers of our components business that contain minimum firm purchase commitments. However, specific products that are to be delivered and the related delivery schedules under these long-term contracts are often subject to modifications based on change orders and amendments agreed to with our customers. Our backlog represents the uncompleted portion of firm purchase commitments and open purchase orders by our third-party global dealer network.

Management believes that backlog at any particular date is not necessarily a meaningful indicator of future revenue for any particular period of time because our backlog excludes contracts signed and completed in the same quarter and contracts still conditioned upon obtaining financing. Backlog totaled approximately $1,688 million and $1,373 million as of January 1, 2012 and January 2, 2011, respectively, of which $1,028 million is expected to be recognized in fiscal 2012.

Competition

The market for solar electric power technologies is competitive and continually evolving. We expect to face increased competition, which may result in price reductions, reduced margins, or loss of market share. Our solar power products and systems compete with a large number of competitors in the solar power market, including, but not limited to:

R&C Segment: Canadian Solar Inc., JA Solar Holdings Co., Kyocera Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Q-Cells AG, Sanyo Corporation (a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation), Sharp Corporation, SolarCity Corporation, SolarWorld AG, Sungevity, Inc., SunRun, Inc., Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., Trina Solar Ltd., and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd.

UPP Segment: Abengoa Solar S.A., Acconia Energia S.A., AES Solar Energy Ltd., Chevron Energy Solutions (a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation), EDF Energy plc, First Solar Inc., NextEra Energy, Inc., OPDE Group, NRG Energy, Inc., Recurrent Energy (a subsidiary of Sharp Corporation), Sempra Energy, Skyline Solar, Inc., Solargen Energy, Inc., Solaria Corporation, SolFocus, Inc., SunEdison (a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc.), and Tenaska, Inc.

We also face competition from resellers that have developed related offerings that compete with our product and service offerings, or have entered into strategic relationships with other existing solar power system providers. We compete for limited government funding for research and development contracts, customer tax rebates and other programs that promote the use of solar, and other renewable forms of energy with other renewable energy providers and customers.

In addition, universities, research institutions, and other companies have brought to market alternative technologies such as thin films and high concentration photovoltaic, which compete with our technology in certain applications. Furthermore, the solar power market in general competes with conventional fossil fuels supplied by utilities and other sources of renewable energy such as wind, hydro, biomass, solar thermal, and emerging distributed generation technologies such as micro-turbines, sterling engines and fuel cells.

In the large-scale on-grid solar power systems market, we face direct competition from a number of companies, including those that manufacture, distribute, or install solar power systems as well as construction companies that have expanded into the renewable sector. In addition, we will occasionally compete with distributed generation equipment suppliers.

We believe that the key competitive factors in the market for solar panels include:

total system price;


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LCOE evaluation;

power efficiency and performance;

aesthetic appearance of solar panels;

strength of distribution relationships;

availability of third-party financing and investments;

timeliness of new product introductions; and

warranty protection, quality, and customer service.

The principal elements of competition in the solar power systems market include technical expertise, price, experience, delivery capabilities, diversity of product offerings, financing structures, marketing and sales, product performance, quality, efficiency and reliability, and technical service and support. We believe that we can compete favorably with respect to each of these factors, although we may be at a disadvantage in comparison to larger companies with broader product lines, greater technical service and support capabilities, and financial resources. For more information about risks related to our competition, please see "Item 1A: Risk Factors" including "The increase in the global supply of solar cells and panels, and increasing competition, may cause substantial downward pressure on the prices of our products and cause us to lose sales or market share, resulting in lower revenues, earnings, and cash flow," and "If we fail to successfully develop and introduce new and enhanced products and services, while continuing to reduce our costs, we may not be able to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenues will suffer."

Intellectual Property

We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark, and contractual protections to establish and protect our proprietary rights. "SunPower" is our registered trademark in countries throughout the world for use with solar cells, solar panels and mounting systems. We also hold registered trademarks for "Oasis," "PowerLight," "PowerGuard," "PowerTracker," "Serengeti," "Smarter Solar," "SunTile," "SuPo Solar," and "The Planet's Most Powerful Solar" in certain countries. We are seeking and will continue to seek registration of the "SunPower" trademark and other trademarks in additional countries as we believe is appropriate. As of January 1, 2012, we held registrations for 13 trademarks in the United States, and had 5 trademark registration applications pending. We also held 28 trademarks and had over 19 trademark applications pending in foreign jurisdictions. We require our business partners to enter into confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements before we disclose any sensitive aspects of our solar cells, technology, or business plans. We typically enter into proprietary information agreements with employees, consultants, vendors, customers, and joint venture partners.

We own multiple patents and patent applications which cover aspects of the technology in the solar cells, mounting products, and electrical and electronic systems that we currently manufacture and market. We continue to file for and receive new patent rights on a regular basis. The lifetime of a utility patent typically extends for 20 years from the date of filing with the relevant government authority. We assess appropriate opportunities for patent protection of those aspects of our technology, designs, methodologies, and processes that we believe provide significant competitive advantages to us, and for licensing opportunities of new technologies relevant to our business. As of January 1, 2012, we held 89 patents in the United States, which will expire at various times between now and 2030, and had 142 patent applications pending. We also held 100 patents and had 306 patent applications pending in foreign jurisdictions. While patents are an important element of our intellectual property strategy, our business as a whole is not dependent on any one patent or any single pending patent application. We additionally rely on trade secret rights to protect our proprietary information and know-how. We employ proprietary processes and customized equipment in our manufacturing facilities. We therefore require employees and consultants to enter into confidentiality agreements to protect them.

We are currently in litigation in Germany against Knubix GmbH related to alleged violations of our patent rights. We are also currently in litigation in Federal Court in the Northern District of California against SolarCity Corporation ("Solar City") and five current SolarCity employees relating to alleged violations by such employees of our trade secret rights.

For more information about risks related to our intellectual property, please see "Item 1A: Risk Factors" including "We are dependent on our intellectual property, and we may face intellectual property infringement claims that could be time-consuming and costly to defend and could result in the loss of significant rights," and "We rely substantially upon trade secret laws and contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary rights, and, if these rights are not sufficiently protected, our ability

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to compete and generate revenue could suffer," and "We may not obtain sufficient patent protection on the technology embodied in the solar products we currently manufacture and market, which could harm our competitive position and increase our expenses."

Public Policy Considerations

Different policy mechanisms have been used by governments to accelerate the adoption of solar power. Examples of customer-focused financial mechanisms include capital cost rebates, performance-based incentives, feed-in tariffs, tax credits, and net metering. Some of these government mandates and economic incentives are scheduled to be reduced or to expire, or could be eliminated altogether, including the feed-in tariffs in Germany and Italy. Capital cost rebates provide funds to customers based on the cost and size of a customer’s solar power system. Performance-based incentives provide funding to a customer based on the energy produced by their solar power system. Feed-in tariffs pay customers for solar power system generation based on energy produced, at a rate generally guaranteed for a period of time. Tax credits reduce a customer’s taxes at the time the taxes are due. In the United States and other countries, net metering has often been used as a supplemental program in conjunction with other policy mechanisms. Under net metering, a customer can generate more energy than used, during which periods the electricity meter will spin backwards. During these periods, the customer "lends" electricity to the grid, retrieving an equal amount of power at a later time.

In addition to the mechanisms described above, new market development mechanisms to encourage the use of renewable energy sources continue to emerge. For example, many states in the United States have adopted renewable portfolio standards which mandate that a certain portion of electricity delivered to customers come from eligible renewable energy resources. In certain developing countries, governments are establishing initiatives to expand access to electricity, including initiatives to support off-grid rural electrification using solar power. For more information about risks related to public policies, please see "Item 1A: Risk Factors" including "The reduction, modification or elimination of government and economic incentives could cause our revenue to decline and harm our financial results," and "Existing regulations and policies and changes to these regulations and policies may present technical, regulatory, and economic barriers to the purchase and use of solar power products, which may significantly reduce demand for our products and services," and "Fluctuations in Solar Renewable Energy Credits spot prices may adversely impact our results of operations".

Environmental Regulations

We use, generate, and discharge toxic, volatile, or otherwise hazardous chemicals and wastes in our research and development, manufacturing, and construction activities. We are subject to a variety of foreign, federal, state, and local governmental laws and regulations related to the purchase, storage, use, and disposal of hazardous materials.

We believe that we have all environmental permits necessary to conduct our business and expect to obtain all necessary environmental permits for future construction activities. We believe that we have properly handled our hazardous materials and wastes and have appropriately remediated any contamination at any of our premises. We are not aware of any pending or threatened environmental investigation, proceeding or action by foreign, federal, state or local agencies, or third parties involving our current facilities. Any failure by us to control the use of, or to restrict adequately the discharge of, hazardous substances could subject us to substantial financial liabilities, operational interruptions, and adverse publicity, any of which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Employees

As of January 1, 2012, we had approximately 5,220 employees worldwide, excluding employees of our joint ventures. As of January 1, 2012, approximately 670 employees were located in the United States, 4,130 employees were located in the Philippines and 420 employees were located in other countries. Of these employees, approximately 3,980 were engaged in manufacturing, 150 in construction projects, 210 in research and development, 560 in sales and marketing, and 320 in general and administrative services. None of our employees are represented by labor unions. Employees located in France, Italy and Spain are covered by collective bargaining agreements. We have never experienced a work stoppage and we believe relations with our employees are good.

Additional Information

We were originally incorporated in California in April 1985 by Dr. Richard Swanson to develop and commercialize high-efficiency solar cell technologies. Cypress Semiconductor Corporation ("Cypress") made a significant investment in SunPower in 2002 and in November 2004, Cypress acquired 100% ownership of all outstanding shares of our capital stock, excluding unexercised warrants and options. In November 2005, we reincorporated in Delaware, created two classes of

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common stock and held an initial public offering ("IPO") of our former class A common stock. After completion of our IPO, Cypress held all the outstanding shares of our former class B common stock. On September 29, 2008, Cypress distributed to its shareholders all of its shares of our former class B common stock, in the form of a pro rata dividend to the holders of record as of September 17, 2008 of Cypress common stock. As a result, our former class B common stock became publicly traded and listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "SPWRB," along with our former class A common stock under the symbol "SPWRA," and we discontinued being a subsidiary of Cypress. On June 21, 2011, we became a subsidiary of Total, a subsidiary of Total S.A., a French société anonyme ("Total S.A.") that acquired 60% of our former class A and B common stock as of June 13, 2011. On November 15, 2011, our stockholders approved the reclassification of all outstanding former class A common stock and class B common stock into a single class of common stock listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "SPWR".

Available Information

We make available our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 free of charge on our website at www.sunpowercorp.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed or furnished to the SEC. Additionally, copies of materials filed by us with the SEC may be accessed at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C. or at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. For information about the SEC’s Public Reference Room, the public may contact 1-800-SEC-0330. Copies of material filed by us with the SEC may also be obtained by writing to us at our corporate headquarters, SunPower Corporation, Attention: Investor Relations, 77 Rio Robles, San Jose, California 95134, or by calling (408) 240-5500. The contents of our website are not incorporated into, or otherwise to be regarded as a part of, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


ITEM 1A: RISK FACTORS
 
Our operations and financial results are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including risks related to our sales channels, liquidity, supply chain, operations, intellectual property, and our debt and equity securities. Although we believe that we have identified and discussed below certain key risk factors affecting our business, there may be additional risks and uncertainties that are not presently known or that are not currently believed to be significant that may also adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and trading price of our common stock as well as our 4.50% senior convertible debentures, 4.75% senior convertible debentures, and 0.75% senior convertible debentures.

Risks Related to Our Sales Channels
 
The increase in the global supply of solar cells and panels, and increasing competition, may cause substantial downward pressure on the prices of such products and cause us to lose sales or market share, resulting in lower revenues, earnings, and cash flow.
 
Global solar cell and panel production capacity has been materially increasing since 2009, and is expected to continue to increase in the future. Many competitors or potential competitors, particularly in China, continue to expand their production, creating an oversupply of solar panels and cells in key markets. Increases in solar panel production and industry competition have resulted, and will continue to result, in substantial downward pressure on the price of solar cells and panels, including SunPower products. Increasing competition could also result in us losing sales or market share. Such price reductions or loss of sales or market share could continue to have a negative impact on our revenue and earnings, and could materially adversely affect our business and financial condition and cash flows. See also "If we fail to successfully develop and introduce new and enhanced products and services, while continuing to reduce our costs, we may not be able to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenues will suffer."
 
Our operating results will be subject to fluctuations and are inherently unpredictable.
 
We do not know if our revenue will grow, or if it will grow sufficiently to outpace our expenses. We may not be profitable on a quarterly basis. For example, we experienced net losses in each quarter of 2011. Our quarterly revenue and operating results will be difficult to predict and have in the past fluctuated from quarter to quarter. Revenue from our large commercial and, utilities and power plant customers (for example, our California Valley Solar Ranch ("CVSR") project), is difficult to forecast and is susceptible to large fluctuations. The amount, timing and mix of sales to our large commercial, utilities and power plant customers, often for a single medium or large-scale project, may cause large fluctuations in our revenue and other financial results as, at any given time, a single large-scale project can account for a material portion of our total revenue in a given quarter. Our inability to monetize our projects as planned, or any delay in obtaining the required

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government support or initial payments to begin recognizing revenue under the relevant recognition criteria, and the corresponding revenue impact under the percentage-of-completion method of recognizing revenue, may similarly cause large fluctuations in our revenue and other financial results. A delayed disposition of a project could require us to recognize a gain on the sale of assets instead of recognizing revenue. Further, our revenue mix of materials sales versus project sales can fluctuate dramatically from quarter to quarter, which may adversely affect our margins and financial results in any given period. Any decrease in revenue from our large commercial, utilities and power plant customers, whether due to a loss or delay of projects or an inability to collect, could have a significant negative impact on our business. Our agreements with these customers may be canceled if we fail to meet certain product specifications or materially breach the agreement. In the event of a customer bankruptcy, our customers may seek to renegotiate the terms of current agreements or renewals. In addition, the failure by any significant customer to pay for orders, whether due to liquidity issues or otherwise, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations. Sales to our residential and light commercial customers are similarly susceptible to unpredictable volumes. Declining average selling prices impact our residential and light commercial sales quickly, thus leading to large fluctuations in revenues. Any of the foregoing may cause us to miss any current and future revenue or earnings guidance and negatively impact liquidity.
 
We base our planned operating expenses in part on our expectations of future revenue and a significant portion of our expenses is fixed in the short term. If revenue for a particular quarter is lower than we expect, we likely will be unable to proportionately reduce our operating expenses for that quarter, which would harm our operating results for that quarter. This may cause us to miss any revenue or earnings guidance announced by us.
 
The execution of our growth strategy is dependent upon the continued availability of third-party financing arrangements for our solar power plants and our customers, and is affected by general economic conditions.
 
The general economy, the current European debt crisis, and limited availability of credit and liquidity could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations. We often require project financing for development and construction of our solar power plant projects, which require significant investments before the equity is later sold to investors. Many purchasers of our systems projects have entered into third-party arrangements to finance their systems over an extended period of time, while many end-customers have chosen to purchase solar electricity under a power purchase agreement ("PPA") with an investor or financing company that purchases the system from us or our authorized dealers. In addition, under our power purchase business model, we often execute PPAs directly with the end-user customer purchasing solar electricity, with the expectation that we will later assign the PPA to a financier. Under such arrangements, the financier separately contracts with us to build and acquire the solar power system, and then sells the electricity to the end-user customer under the assigned PPA. When executing PPAs with the end-user customers, we seek to mitigate the risk that a financier will not be available for the project by allowing termination of the PPA in such event without penalty. However, we may not always be successful in negotiating for penalty-free termination rights for failure to obtain financing, and certain end-user customers have required substantial financial penalties in exchange for such rights. These structured finance arrangements are complex and may not be feasible in many situations.
 
Due to the general challenging credit markets worldwide, we may be unable to obtain project financing for our projects, we may be unable to find partners for our residential lease program, customers may be unable or unwilling to finance the cost of our products, we may have difficulties in reaching agreements with financiers to finance the construction of our solar power systems, or the parties that have historically provided this financing may cease to do so, or only do so on terms that are substantially less favorable for us or our customers, any of which could materially and adversely affect our revenue and growth in all segments of our business. In addition, in the United States, with the expiration of the Treasury Grant under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program, we will need to identify interested financiers with sufficient taxable income to monetize the tax incentives created by our solar systems. Our plans to continue to grow our residential leasing program may be delayed if credit conditions prevent us from obtaining or maintaining arrangement(s) to finance the program. The lack of project financing could delay the development and construction of our solar power plant projects, thus reducing our revenues from the sale of such projects. Many customers, especially in the United States, choose to purchase solar electricity under a PPA with a financing company that buys the system from us and the lack of availability of such financing could lead to reduced revenues. If economic recovery is slow in the United States or elsewhere, or if the European debt crisis remains unresolved or worsens, we may experience decreases in the demand for our solar power products, which may harm our operating results. We may in some cases seek to pursue partnership arrangements with financing entities to assist residential and other customers to obtain financing for the purchase or lease of our systems, which would expose us to credit or other risks. In addition, a rise in interest rates would likely increase our customers' cost of financing or leasing our products and could reduce their profits and expected returns on investment in our products. The general reduction in available credit to would-be borrowers or lessees, the poor state of economies worldwide, and the condition of housing markets worldwide could delay or reduce our sales of products to new homebuilders and authorized resellers.
 

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The reduction, modification or elimination of government and economic incentives could cause our revenue to decline and harm our financial results.
 
The market for on-grid applications, where solar power is used to supplement a customer's electricity purchased from the utility network or sold to a utility under tariff, depends in large part on the availability and size of government mandates and economic incentives because, at present, the cost of solar power generally exceeds retail electric rates in many locations and wholesale peak power rates in some locations. In addition, on-grid applications depend on access to the grid, which is also regulated by government entities. Incentives and mandates vary by geographic market. Various government bodies in most of the countries where we do business have provided incentives in the form of feed-in tariffs, rebates, and tax credits and other incentives and mandates, such as renewable portfolio standards, to end-users, distributors, system integrators and manufacturers of solar power products to promote the use of solar energy in on-grid applications and to reduce dependency on other forms of energy. In 2011, some of these government mandates and economic incentives have been reduced or fundamentally restructured, including the feed-in tariffs in Germany and incentives offered by other European countries, which has had a materially negative effect on the market size and price of solar systems in Europe and caused our earnings in 2011 to decline in Europe and adversely affected our financial results. Governmental decisions regarding the provision of economic incentives often depend on political and economic factors that are largely beyond our control. Because our sales are into the on-grid market, the reduction, modification or elimination of grid access, government mandates and economic incentives in one or more of our customer markets would materially and adversely affect the growth of such markets or result in increased price competition, either of which could cause our revenue to decline and harm our financial results.
 
Existing regulations and policies and changes to these regulations and policies may present technical, regulatory, and economic barriers to the purchase and use of solar power products, which may significantly reduce demand for our products and services.
 
The market for electric generation products is heavily influenced by federal, state and local government laws, regulations and policies concerning the electric utility industry in the United States and abroad, as well as policies promulgated by electric utilities. These regulations and policies often relate to electricity pricing and technical interconnection of customer-owned electricity generation, and could deter further investment in the research and development of alternative energy sources as well as customer purchases of solar power technology, which could result in a significant reduction in the potential demand for our solar power products. The market for electric generation equipment is also influenced by trade and local content laws, regulations and policies which can discourage growth and competition in the solar industry, create economic barriers to the purchase of solar power products, thus reducing demand for our solar products.  We anticipate that our solar power products and their installation will continue to be subject to oversight and regulation in accordance with federal, state, local and foreign regulations relating to construction, safety, environmental protection, utility interconnection and metering, trade, and related matters. It is difficult to track the requirements of individual states or local jurisdictions and design equipment to comply with the varying standards. Any new regulations or policies pertaining to our solar power products may result in significant additional expenses to us, our resellers and our resellers' customers, which could cause a significant reduction in demand for our solar power products. See also "Risks Related to Our Operations-We sell our solar products to agencies of the U.S. government, and as a result, we are subject to a number of procurement rules and regulations, and our business could be adversely affected by an audit by the U.S. government if it were to identify errors or failure to comply with regulations."
 
We may incur unexpected warranty and product liability claims that could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Our current standard product warranty for our solar panels includes a 10-year warranty period for defects in materials and workmanship and a 25-year warranty period for declines in power performance. We believe our warranty periods are consistent with industry practice. We perform accelerated lifecycle testing that expose our solar panels to extreme stress and climate conditions in both environmental simulation chambers and in actual field deployments in order to highlight potential failures that would occur over the 25-year warranty period. Due to the long warranty period, we bear the risk of extensive warranty claims long after we have shipped product and recognized revenue. Although we conduct accelerated testing of our solar panels and have several years of experience with our all-back-contact solar cell architecture, our solar panels have not and cannot be tested in an environment that exactly simulates the 25-year warranty period and it is difficult to test for all conditions that may occur in the field. We have sold solar panels since the early 2000's and have therefore not tested the full warranty cycle.
 
In our project installations, our current standard warranty for our solar power systems differs by geography and end-customer application and usually includes a limited warranty of up to 10 years for defects in work and workmanship, after which the customer may typically extend the period covered by its warranty for an additional fee. Due to the long warranty period, we bear the risk of extensive warranty claims long after we have completed a project and recognized revenues.

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Warranty and product liability claims may also result from defects or quality issues in certain third party technology and components that our business incorporates into its solar power systems, particularly solar cells and panels, over which we have little or no control. While we generally pass through manufacturer warranties we receive from our suppliers to our customers, in some circumstances, we may be responsible for repairing or replacing defective parts during our warranty period, often including those covered by manufacturers' warranties, or incur other non-warranty costs. If the manufacturer disputes or otherwise fails to honor its warranty obligations, we may be required to incur substantial costs before we are compensated, if at all, by the manufacturer. Furthermore, our warranties may exceed the period of any warranties from our suppliers covering components, such as third party solar cells, third party panels and third party inverters, included in our systems. In addition, manufacturer warranties may not fully compensate us for losses associated with third-party claims caused by defects or quality issues in their products. For example, most manufacturer warranties exclude many losses that may result from a system component's failure or defect, such as the cost of de-installation, re-installation, shipping, lost electricity, lost renewable energy credits or other solar incentives, personal injury, property damage, and other losses. In certain cases our direct warranty coverage provided by SunPower to our customers, and therefore our financial exposure, may exceed our recourse available against cell, panel or other manufacturers for defects in their products. In addition, in the event we seek recourse through warranties, we will also be dependent on the creditworthiness and continued existence of the suppliers to our business.
 
Increases in the defect rate of SunPower or third-party products could cause us to increase the amount of warranty reserves and have a corresponding negative impact on our results of operations. Further, potential future product failures could cause us to incur substantial expense to repair or replace defective products, and we have agreed in some circumstances to indemnify our customers and our distributors against liability from some defects in our solar products. A successful indemnification claim against us could require us to make significant damage payments. Repair and replacement costs, as well as successful indemnification claims, could materially and negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Like other retailers, distributors and manufacturers of products that are used by customers, we face an inherent risk of exposure to product liability claims in the event that the use of the solar power products into which solar cells and solar panels are incorporated results in injury, property damage or other damages. We may be subject to warranty and product liability claims in the event that our solar power systems fail to perform as expected or if a failure of our solar power systems results, or is alleged to result, in bodily injury, property damage or other damages. Since our solar power products are electricity producing devices, it is possible that our systems could result in injury, whether by product malfunctions, defects, improper installation or other causes. In addition, since we only began selling our solar cells and solar panels in the early 2000's and the products we are developing incorporate new technologies and use new installation methods, we cannot predict whether or not product liability claims will be brought against us in the future or the effect of any resulting negative publicity on our business. Moreover, we may not have adequate resources in the event of a successful claim against us. We rely on our general liability insurance to cover product liability claims and have not obtained separate product liability insurance. A successful warranty or product liability claim against us that is not covered by insurance or is in excess of our available insurance limits could require us to make significant payments of damages. In addition, quality issues can have various other ramifications, including delays in the recognition of revenue, loss of revenue, loss of future sales opportunities, increased costs associated with repairing or replacing products, and a negative impact on our goodwill and reputation, which could also adversely affect our business and operating results.
 
If we fail to successfully develop and introduce new and enhanced products and services, while continuing to reduce our costs, we may not be able to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenues will suffer.
 
The solar power market is characterized by continually changing technology requiring improved features, such as increased efficiency and higher power output and improved aesthetics. Technologies developed by our direct competitors, including thin film solar panels, concentrating solar cells, solar thermal electric and other solar technologies, may provide power at lower costs than our products. We also face competition in some markets from other power generation sources, including conventional fossil fuels, wind, biomass, and hydro. In addition, other companies could potentially develop a highly reliable renewable energy system that mitigates the intermittent power production drawback of many renewable energy systems. Companies could also offer other value-added improvements from the perspective of utilities and other system owners, in which case such companies could compete with us even if the cost of electricity associated with such new system is higher than that of our systems.

Our solar panels are currently competitive in the market compared with lower cost conventional solar cells, such as thin-film, due to their higher efficiency. If our competitors are able to drive down their manufacturing costs faster than us, our products may become less competitive even when adjusted for efficiency. If we cannot effectively execute our cost reduction roadmap, our competitive position would suffer, and we could lose market share and our margins would be adversely impacted as we face downward pricing pressure.
 

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Our failure to further refine our technology, reduce cost in our manufacturing process, and develop and introduce new solar power products could cause our products or our manufacturing facilities to become uncompetitive or obsolete, which could reduce our market share, cause our sales to decline, and cause the impairment of our assets. This will require us to continuously develop new solar power products and enhancements for existing solar power products to keep pace with evolving industry standards, competitive pricing and changing customer requirements. If we cannot continually improve the efficiency of our solar panels as compared to those of our competitors, our pricing will become less competitive, and we could lose market share and our margins would be adversely impacted. As we introduce new or enhanced products or integrate new technology into our products, we will face risks relating to such transitions including, among other things, technical challenges, acceptance of products by our customers, disruption in customers' ordering patterns, insufficient supplies of new products to meet customers' demand, possible product and technology defects arising from the integration of new technology and a potentially different sales and support environment relating to any new technology. Our failure to manage the transition to newer products or the integration of newer technology into our products could adversely affect our business's operating results and financial condition.
 
A limited number of customers and large projects are expected to continue to comprise a significant portion of our revenues and any decrease in revenue from those customers or projects, or an increase in related expenses, could have a significant adverse effect on us.
 
Even though we expect our customer base and number of large projects to expand and our revenue streams to diversify, a substantial portion of our revenues could continue to depend on sales to a limited number of customers as well as construction of a limited number of large projects (for example, the CVSR project), and the loss of sales to, or construction of, or inability to collect from those customers or for those projects, or an increase in expenses (such as financing costs) related to any such large projects, would have a significant negative impact on our business. Our agreements with such customers or for such projects may be cancelled if we fail to meet certain product specifications, materially breach the governing agreements, or in the event of a customer's or project entity's bankruptcy, and our customers may seek to cancel or renegotiate the terms of current agreements or renewals. In addition, the failure by any significant customer to pay for orders and the construction process, whether due to liquidity issues, failure of anticipated government support or otherwise, could materially and negatively affect our results of operations.
 
We often do not have long-term agreements with our customers and accordingly could lose customers without warning, which could cause our operating results to decline.
 
Our product sales to residential dealers and components customers are frequently not made under long-term agreements. We also contract to construct or sell large projects with no assurance of repeat business from the same customers in the future. Although we believe that cancellations on our purchase orders to date have been infrequent, our customers may cancel or reschedule purchase orders with us on relatively short notice. Cancellations or rescheduling of customer orders could result in the delay or loss of anticipated sales without allowing us sufficient time to reduce, or delay the incurrence of, our corresponding inventory and operating expenses. In addition, changes in forecasts or the timing of orders from these or other customers expose us to the risks of inventory shortages or excess inventory. These circumstances, in addition to the completion and non-repetition of large projects, declining average selling prices, changes in the relative mix of sales of solar equipment versus solar project installations, and the fact that our supply agreements are generally long-term in nature and many of our other operating costs are fixed, in turn could cause our operating results to fluctuate and may result in a material adverse effect in our business and financial results. In addition, since we rely partly on our network of dealers internationally for marketing and other promotional programs, if our dealers fail to perform up to our standards, our operating results may decline.
 
Almost all of our engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") contracts are fixed price contracts which may be insufficient to cover unanticipated or dramatic changes in costs over the life of the project.
 
Almost all of our EPC contracts are fixed price contracts. All essential costs are estimated at the time of entering into the EPC contract for a particular project, and these are reflected in the overall price that we charge our customers for the project. These cost estimates are preliminary and may or may not be covered by contracts between us or the subcontractors, suppliers, and any other parties that may become necessary to complete the project. Thus, if the cost of materials were to rise dramatically as a result of sudden increased demand, or if financing costs were to increase due to use of the Liquidity Support Facility (as defined below) or otherwise, these costs may have to be borne by us.
 
In addition, we require qualified, licensed subcontractors to install most of our systems. Shortages of such skilled labor could significantly delay a project or otherwise increase our costs. In several instances in the past, we have obtained change orders that reimburse us for additional unexpected costs due to various reasons. Should miscalculations in planning a project or delays in execution occur, there can be no guarantee that we would be successful in obtaining reimbursement and we may not

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achieve our expected margins or we may be required to record a loss in the relevant fiscal period.
 
Our business could be adversely affected by seasonal trends and construction cycles.
 
Our business is subject to significant industry-specific seasonal fluctuations. Sales have historically reflected these seasonal trends with the largest percentage of total revenues being realized during the last two calendar quarters. Low seasonal demand normally results in reduced shipments and revenues in the first two calendar quarters. There are various reasons for this seasonality, mostly related to economic incentives and weather patterns. For example, in European countries with feed-in tariffs, the construction of solar power systems may be concentrated during the second half of the calendar year, largely due to the annual reduction of the applicable minimum feed-in tariff and the fact that the coldest winter months are January through March. In the United States, customers will sometimes make purchasing decisions towards the end of the year in order to take advantage of tax credits or for other budgetary reasons. In addition, sales in the new home development market are often tied to construction market demands which tend to follow national trends in construction, including declining sales during cold weather months.
 
The competitive environment in which we operate often requires us to undertake customer obligations that could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations if our customer obligations are more costly than expected.
 
We are often required as a condition of financing or at the request of our end customer to undertake certain obligations such as:
 
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System output performance guarantees;

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System maintenance;

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Penalty payments or customer termination rights if the system we are constructing is not commissioned within specified timeframes or other construction milestones are not achieved;

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Guarantees of certain minimum residual value of the system at specified future dates; and

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System put-rights whereby we could be required to buy-back a customer's system at fair value on specified future dates if certain minimum performance thresholds are not met.
 
Such financing arrangements and customer obligations involve complex accounting analyses and judgments regarding the timing of revenue and expense recognition, and in certain situations these factors may require us to defer revenue recognition until projects are completed, which could adversely affect revenue and profits in a particular period.
 
Risks Related to Our Liquidity
 
Due to the general economic environment, the continued market pressure driving down the average selling prices of our solar power products, and other factors, we may be unable to generate sufficient cash flows or obtain access to external financing necessary to fund our operations and make adequate capital investments as planned.

We expect total capital expenditures related to purchases of property, plant and equipment in the range of $110 million to $130 million in fiscal 2012. To develop new products, support future growth, achieve operating efficiencies, and maintain product quality, we must make significant capital investments in manufacturing technology, facilities and capital equipment, research and development, and product and process technology. We also anticipate increased costs as we expand our manufacturing operations, make advance payments for raw materials or pay to procure such materials, especially polysilicon, increase our sales and marketing efforts, invest in joint ventures and acquisitions, and continue our research and development efforts with respect to our products and manufacturing technologies. In January 2012, we completed the acquisition of Tenesol, a European-based manufacturer and developer of solar projects with module manufacturing operations in La Tour deSalvagny, France and Cape Town, South Africa, and which is in the process of developing a third site near Carling, France. Our manufacturing and assembly activities have required and will continue to require significant investment of capital and substantial engineering expenditures. In addition, we expect to invest a significant amount of capital to develop solar power systems and plants for sale to customers. The development and construction of solar power plants can require long periods of time and substantial initial investments. The delayed disposition of such projects could have a negative impact on our liquidity. See "Risk Related to Our Operations-We may make significant investments in building solar power plants without first obtaining project financing, and the delayed sale of our projects would adversely affect our business, liquidity and results of

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operations." A significant portion of our revenue is generated from a limited number of customers and large projects, and our inability to execute those projects, or to collect from those customers or for those projects, would have a significant negative impact on our business. See "A limited number of customers and large projects are expected to continue to comprise a significant portion of our revenues and any decrease in revenue from those customers or projects could have a significant adverse effect on us” in Part II, Item 1A, "Risk Factors."

Our capital expenditures and use of working capital may be greater than we currently expect if we decide to make additional investments in the development and construction of solar power plants, or if sales of power plants and associated cash proceeds are delayed, or if we decide to accelerate increases in our manufacturing capacity internally or through capital contributions to joint ventures. We require project financing in connection with the construction of solar power plants, which financing may not be available on terms acceptable to us. In addition, we will in the future make additional investments in certain of our joint ventures or could guarantee certain financial obligations of our joint ventures, which could reduce our cash flows, increase our indebtedness and expose us to the credit risk of our joint ventures. Certain of our customers also require performance bonds issued by a bonding agency or letters of credit issued by financial institutions. As of January 1, 2012 letters of credit issued under the Deutsche Bank Trust facility amounted to $51.3 million and were fully collateralized with restricted cash. Our uncollateralized letter of credit facility with Deutsche Bank is guaranteed by Total S.A. pursuant to the Credit Support Agreement between us and Total S.A. A default under the Credit Support Agreement or the guaranteed letter of credit facility, or if our other indebtedness greater than $25 million becomes accelerated, could cause Total S.A., subject to its obligations under the Liquidity Support Facility (described below), to declare all amounts due and payable to Total S.A. and direct the bank to cease issuing additional letters of credit on behalf of SunPower, which could have a material adverse effect on our operations. In addition, if our financial results or operating plans change from our current assumptions, or if the holders of our outstanding 4.50% convertible debentures due 2015 become entitled, and elect, to convert the debentures into cash, we may not have sufficient resources to support our business plan or pay cash in connection with the redemption of outstanding 4.50% debentures. See "Our substantial indebtedness and other contractual commitments could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our ability to meet any of our payment obligations under the 4.50% and 4.75% debentures and our other debt."

We believe that our current cash and cash equivalents, cash generated from operations, and funds available under our revolving credit facility with Credit Agricole will be sufficient to meet our working capital requirements and fund our committed capital expenditures over the next 12 months, including the development and construction of solar power plants over the next 12 months. In addition, we also have the Liquidity Support Facility (described below) with up to $600 million available from Total S.A. to us under certain specified circumstances. As of January 1, 2012, $250.0 million was outstanding under our revolving credit facility with Credit Agricole.  This revolving credit facility requires that we maintain certain financial ratios, including a ratio of our debt at the end of each quarter to our EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) for the last twelve months as defined in the facility for that quarter not exceeding 4.5 to 1.  The current market for our products is challenging, which makes projections of future revenue and EBITDA especially difficult.  If we fail to meet one of these ratios in any future quarter, and if any such failure were not cured pursuant to the Liquidity Support Facility (described below), it would enable the syndicate of banks to declare us in default under the credit facility, which could lead to further defaults as described below.

We are also party to a Liquidity Support Agreement with Total S.A. and the DOE, and a series of related agreements with Total S.A. or its affiliates, under which Total S.A. has agreed to provide us with a liquidity facility to a maximum amount of $600 million (the “Liquidity Support Facility”). Total S.A. is required, through its affiliates, to provide liquidity support to us under this facility, and we are required to accept such liquidity support from Total, S.A., if either our actual or projected unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and unused borrowing capacity are reduced below $100 million, or we fail to satisfy any financial covenant under our indebtedness, including the Credit Agricole Facility. In either such event, subject to an $600 million aggregate limit, Total S.A. is required to provide us with sufficient liquidity support to increase the amount of our unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and unused borrowing capacity to above $100 million, and to restore our compliance with our financial covenants. In general, our cost of financing under the Liquidity Support Agreement would increase as the aggregate amount of liquidity support we require over time increases.

The lenders under our credit facilities and holders of our debentures may also require us to repay our indebtedness to them in the event that our obligations under other indebtedness or contracts in excess of the applicable threshold amount, such as $25 million, are accelerated and we fail to discharge such obligations. If our capital resources are insufficient to satisfy our liquidity requirements, for example, due to cross acceleration of indebtedness, we may seek to sell additional equity securities or debt securities or obtain other debt financings, including under the Liquidity Support Facility; although the current economic environment could also limit our ability to raise capital by issuing new equity or debt securities on acceptable terms, and lenders may be unwilling to lend funds on acceptable terms that would be required to supplement cash flows to support operations. The sale of additional equity securities or convertible debt securities, including under the Liquidity Support Facility,

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would result in additional dilution to our stockholders and may not be available on favorable terms or at all, particularly in light of the current conditions in the financial and credit markets. Additional debt would result in increased expenses and would likely impose new restrictive covenants which may be similar or different than those restrictions contained in the covenants under our current debt agreements and debentures. Financing arrangements, including project financing for our solar power plants and letters of credit facilities, may not be available to us, or may not be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us. We may also seek to sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, or refinance or restructure our debt.

Under the Liquidity Support Facility, we are required to issue to Total S.A. or its affiliates, in exchange for the provision of liquidity support, warrants to purchase our common stock. The number of shares of our common stock covered by these warrants will be equal to an agreed percentage of the amount of support provided at a particular time, divided by the volume-weighted average of our stock price over the 30-day trading period ending on the trading day immediately preceding the date when the support is provided. The exercise price of these warrants is also set by reference to this volume-weighted average price, and therefore may be set at a discount to our stock price currently or at the time the warrants are issued. Any convertible debt we issue to Total S.A. or its affiliates under the Liquidity Support Facility will be convertible into our common stock at its market price at the time of conversion, which may be lower than our current stock price. Finally, any common stock we issue to Total S.A. under the Liquidity Support Facility will be priced at a 17% discount to the volume-weighted average stock price for the 30-day trading period ending on the trading day preceding the date of issuance. For all these reasons, any use of the Liquidity Support Facility will be dilutive to the equity interests of our other stockholders, and the degree of dilution will increase if our stock price decreases. Any other equity financing we may seek would also likely be dilutive to our stockholders' equity interests. For additional details, see Item 9B of this Annual Report.

If we cannot generate sufficient cash flows, find other sources of capital to fund our operations and solar power plant projects, make adequate capital investments to remain competitive in terms of technology development and cost efficiency, or provide bonding or letters of credit required by our projects, we will need to sell additional equity securities or debt securities, or obtain other debt financings. If adequate funds and alternative resources are not available on acceptable terms, our ability to fund our operations, develop and construct solar power plants, develop and expand our manufacturing operations and distribution network, maintain our research and development efforts, provide collateral for our projects, meet our debt service obligations, or otherwise respond to competitive pressures would be significantly impaired. Our inability to do any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 
Our substantial indebtedness and other contractual commitments could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our ability to meet any of our payment obligations under the 4.50% and 4.75% debentures and our other debt.
 
We currently have a significant amount of debt and debt service requirements that could have material consequences on our future operations, including:

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making it more difficult for us to meet our payment and other obligations under the 4.50% and 4.75% debentures and our other outstanding debt;

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resulting in an event of default if we fail to comply with the financial and other restrictive covenants contained in our debt agreements (with certain covenants becoming more restrictive over time), which event of default could result in all of our debt becoming immediately due and payable if not cured pursuant to the Liquidity Support Facility;

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reducing the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, project development, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes, and limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for these purposes;

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subjecting us to the risk of increased sensitivity to interest rate increases on our indebtedness with variable interest rates;

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subjecting us to the risk of currency fluctuations and government-fixed foreign exchange rates and the effects of currency hedging activity or inability to hedge currency fluctuation;

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limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, and increasing our vulnerability to, changes in our business, the industry in which we operate and the general economy; and

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placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt or are less leveraged.


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Our indebtedness may increase if we require liquidity support from Total S.A. under the Liquidity Support Facility, and in general the economic cost of such indebtedness will increase, both in absolute dollars and in our cost per dollar borrowed, as the aggregate amount of liquidity support we require over time increases.

Any of the above-listed factors could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to meet our payment obligations under the 4.50% and 4.75% debentures and our other debt. In addition, we also have significant contractual commitments for the purchase of polysilicon, some of which involve prepayments, and we may enter into additional, similar long-term supply agreements in the future. Further, if the holders of our outstanding 4.50% debentures have been entitled to, and do convert their debentures, the principal amount must be settled in cash. Future conversions could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to meet our payment obligations under our debt.

Our current tax holidays in the Philippines and Switzerland will expire within the next several years.

We currently benefit from income tax holiday incentives in the Philippines in accordance with our subsidiary's registration with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority ("PEZA"), which provide that we pay no income tax in the Philippines for those operations subject to the ruling. Our current income tax holidays were granted as manufacturing lines were placed in service and thereafter expire within the next fiscal year, and we are in the process of or have applied for extensions and renewals upon expiration. We currently expect such approvals to be granted. We believe that if our Philippine tax holidays expire, (a) gross income attributable to activities covered by our PEZA registrations will be taxed at a 5% preferential rate, and (b) our Philippine net income attributable to all other activities will be taxed at the statutory Philippine corporate income tax rate, currently 30%. An increase in our tax liability could materially and negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We have an auxiliary company ruling in Switzerland where we sell our solar power products. The auxiliary company ruling results in a reduced effective Swiss tax rate of approximately 11.5%. The current ruling expires in 2015. If the ruling is not renewed in 2015, Swiss income would be taxable at the full Swiss tax rate of approximately 24.2%.

A change in our effective tax rate can have a significant adverse impact on our business.

A number of factors may adversely impact our future effective tax rates, such as the jurisdictions in which our profits are determined to be earned and taxed; changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities; adjustments to estimated taxes upon finalization of various tax returns; adjustments to the our interpretation of transfer pricing standards, changes in available tax credits, grants and other incentives; changes in stock-based compensation expense; changes in tax laws or the interpretation of such tax laws (for example, proposals for fundamental U.S. international tax reform); changes in U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; expiration or the inability to renew tax rulings or tax holiday incentives; and the repatriation of non-U.S. earnings for which we have not previously provided for U.S. taxes. A change in our effective tax rate due to any of these factors may adversely impact our future results from operations. See Part II - "Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Results of Operations-Income Taxes."

Our insurance for certain indemnities we have made to our officers and directors may be inadequate, and potential claims could materially and negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Our certificate of incorporation, by-laws and indemnification agreements require us to indemnify our officers and directors for certain liabilities that may arise in the course of their service to us. Although we currently maintain directors and officers liability insurance for certain potential third-party claims for which we are legally or financially unable to indemnify them, such insurance may be inadequate for specific claims. In addition, in previous years, we have primarily self-insured with respect to potential third-party claims. If we were required to pay a significant amount on account of these liabilities for which we self-insured, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed. See also "Risks Related to Our Operations -- We and certain of our current and former officers and directors have been named as parties to various lawsuits relating to our past Audit Committee accounting investigation, and may be named in further litigation, including with respect to the restatement of our consolidated financial statements, all of which could require significant management time and attention, result in significant legal expenses or damages, and cause our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows to suffer."
 
Our credit agreements contain covenant restrictions that may limit our ability to operate our business.
 
We may be unable to respond to changes in business and economic conditions, engage in transactions that might otherwise be beneficial to us, or obtain additional financing, because our debt agreements, our Credit Support Agreement and

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our Liquidity Support Agreement with Total S.A., our Affiliation Agreement with Total, foreign exchange hedging agreements and equity derivative agreements contain, and any of our other future similar agreements may contain, covenant restrictions that limit our ability to, among other things:

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incur additional debt, assume obligations in connection with letters of credit, or issue guarantees;

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create liens;

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make certain investments or acquisitions;

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enter into transactions with our affiliates;

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sell certain assets;

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redeem capital stock or make other restricted payments;

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declare or pay dividends or make other distributions to stockholders; and

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merge or consolidate with any person.

Our ability to comply with these covenants is dependent on our future performance, which will be subject to many factors, some of which are beyond our control, including prevailing economic conditions. In addition, our failure to comply with these covenants could result in a default under the 4.50% and 4.75% debentures and our other debt, which could permit the holders to accelerate such debt if the default is not cured pursuant to the Liquidity Support Facility. If any of our debt is accelerated, we may not have sufficient funds available to repay such debt, which could materially and negatively affect our financial condition and results of operation.

Risks Related to Our Supply Chain
 
We will continue to be dependent on a limited number of third-party suppliers for certain raw materials and components for our products, which could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes, which in turn could result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments and loss of market share.
 
We rely on a limited number of third-party suppliers, including our joint ventures, for certain raw materials and components for our solar cells, panels and power systems such as polysilicon, inverters and third-party solar panels. If we fail to develop or maintain our relationships with our suppliers, we may be unable to manufacture our products or our products may be available only at a higher cost or after a long delay. Such delays could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and cause order cancellations and loss of market share. To the extent the processes that our suppliers use to manufacture components are proprietary, we may be unable to obtain comparable components from alternative suppliers. In addition, the financial markets could limit our suppliers' ability to raise capital if required to expand their production or satisfy their operating capital requirements. As a result, they could be unable to supply necessary raw materials, inventory and capital equipment to us which we would require to support our planned sales operations which would in turn negatively impact our sales volumes profitability and cash flows. The failure of a supplier to supply raw materials or components in a timely manner, or to supply raw materials or components that meet our quality, quantity and cost requirements, could impair our ability to manufacture our products or increase the cost of production. If we cannot obtain substitute materials or components on a timely basis or on acceptable terms, we could be prevented from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes, which could result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments or loss of market share, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and cash flows.
 
Limited competition among suppliers has required us in some instances to enter into long-term, firm commitment supply agreements that could result in excess or insufficient inventory and place us at a competitive disadvantage on pricing.

Due to the industry-wide shortage of polysilicon experienced prior to 2011, we have purchased polysilicon that we resell to third-party ingot and wafer manufacturers who deliver wafers to us that we then use in the manufacturing of our solar cells. Without sufficient polysilicon, some of those ingot and wafer manufacturers would not have been able to produce the wafers on which we rely. To match our estimated customer demand forecasts and growth strategy for the next several years, we have historically entered into multiple long-term supply agreements, including agreements with our joint venture First Philec Solar. Some agreements have long terms and provide for fixed or inflation-adjusted pricing, substantial prepayment obligations, and

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firm purchase commitments that require us to pay for the supply whether or not we accept delivery. If such agreements require us to purchase more supplies than required to meet our actual customer demand over time, the resulting excess inventory could materially and negatively impact our results of operations. Prices for raw materials and components have been rapidly declining. If we are unable to access spot market pricing of commodities and decrease our dependency on long term or fixed commitment supply agreements, we would be paying more at unfavorable payment terms for such supplies than the current market prices and payment terms available to our competitors. We would then be placed at a competitive disadvantage against competitors who were able to leverage better pricing, we would be unable to meet our cost reduction roadmap, and our profitability could decline. If our agreements provide insufficient inventory to meet customer demand, or if our suppliers are unable or unwilling to provide us with the contracted quantities, we could purchase additional supply at available market prices which could be greater than expected and could materially and negatively impact our results of operations. Such market prices could also be greater than prices paid by our competitors, placing us at a competitive disadvantage and leading to a decline in our profitability. Further, we face significant specific counterparty risk under long-term supply agreements when dealing with suppliers without a long, stable production and financial history. In the event any such supplier experiences financial difficulties or goes into bankruptcy, it could be difficult or impossible, or may require substantial time and expense, for us to recover any or all of our prepayments. In the event any such supplier experiences financial difficulties or goes into bankruptcy, we would also be unlikely to collect for warranty claims against such suppliers. Any of the foregoing could materially harm our financial condition and results of operations.
 
If third-party manufacturers become unable or unwilling to sell their solar cells or panels to us, our business and results of operations may be materially negatively affected.

In January 2012, we completed the acquisition of Tenesol, a European-based manufacturer and developer of solar projects with module manufacturing operations in France and South Africa. Through Tenesol, we purchase a portion of our total product mix from third-party manufacturers of solar cells. Such products increase our inventory available for sale to customers in some markets. However, such manufacturers may not be willing to sell solar cells and panels to us at the quantities and on the terms and conditions we require. Such manufacturers may be our direct competitors. If they are unable or unwilling to sell to us, we may not have sufficient products available to sell to customers and satisfy our sales commitments, thereby materially and negatively affecting our business and results of operations. In addition, warranty and product liability claims may result from defects or quality issues in connection with third party solar cells that we incorporate into our solar power products. See also “Risks Related to Our Sales Channels -- We may incur unexpected warranty and product liability claims that could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Risks Related to Our Operations

We may not be able to increase or sustain our recent growth rate, and we may not be able to manage our future growth effectively.
 
We may not be able to continue to expand our business or manage future growth. We plan to continue to improve our manufacturing processes and increase our production capacity, which will require successful execution of:

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expanding our existing manufacturing facilities and developing new manufacturing facilities, which would increase our fixed costs and, if such facilities are underutilized, would negatively impact our results of operations;

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ensuring delivery of adequate polysilicon and ingots;

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enhancing our customer resource management and manufacturing management systems;

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implementing and improving additional and existing administrative, financial and operations systems, procedures and controls, including the need to centralize, update and integrate our global financial internal control;

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hiring additional employees;

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expanding and upgrading our technological capabilities;

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managing multiple relationships with our customers, suppliers and other third parties;

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maintaining adequate liquidity and financial resources; and

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continuing to increase our revenues from operations.

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Our recent expansion has placed, and our planned expansion and any other future expansion will continue to place, a significant strain on our management, personnel, systems, liquidity and resources. Improving our manufacturing processes, expanding our manufacturing facilities or developing facilities may be delayed by difficulties such as unavailability of equipment or supplies or equipment malfunction. Ensuring delivery of adequate polysilicon and ingots is subject to many market risks including scarcity, significant price fluctuations and competition. Maintaining adequate liquidity is dependent upon a variety of factors including continued revenues from operations, working capital improvements, and compliance with our indentures and credit agreements. If we are unsuccessful in any of these areas, we may not be able to achieve our growth strategy and increase production capacity as planned during the foreseeable future. In addition, we need to manage our organizational growth, including rationalizing reporting structures, support teams, and enabling efficient decision making. For example, the administration of the residential leasing program requires processes and systems to support this new business model. If we are not successful or if we delay our implementation of such systems and processes, we may adversely affect the anticipated volumes in our residential leasing business. If we are unable to manage our growth effectively, we may not be able to take advantage of market opportunities, develop new solar cells and other products, satisfy customer requirements, execute our business plan or respond to competitive pressures. See also "If we are not successful in adding additional production lines, or we experience interruptions in the operation of our solar cell production lines, our revenue and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected."
 
We may make significant investments in building solar power plants without first obtaining project financing, and the delayed sale of our projects would adversely affect our business, liquidity, and results of operations.
 
The development and construction of solar power plants require long periods of time and substantial initial investments, which we may make without first obtaining project financing or getting final regulatory clearance. Such costs may never be recovered if the necessary permits and government support and approvals are not obtained, project financing is not obtained, or if a potential project sale cannot be completed on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Our efforts in this area may consist of all stages of development, including land acquisition, permitting, financing, construction, operation, and the eventual sale of the projects. We will often choose to bear the costs of such efforts prior to obtaining project financing, prior to getting final regulatory clearance, and prior to our final sale to a customer, if any. This involves significant upfront investments of resources (including, for example, large transmission deposits or other payments, which may be non-refundable), land acquisition, permitting, legal and other costs, and in some cases the actual costs of constructing a project, in advance of the signing of PPAs and EPC contracts, the sale of equity in the project and the receipt of any cash or revenue, much of which may not be recognized for several additional months or years following contract signing. Our ability to monetize solar power plant projects is dependent on successfully executing and selling large scale projects and often a single project can account for a material portion of our total revenue in a given quarter. We have deferred revenue recognition on certain construction projects until the projects have been financed, constructed, and sold to independent third parties. Alternatively, we may choose to build, own and operate certain solar power plants for a period of time, after which the project assets may be sold to third parties. In such cases, the delayed disposition of projects could require us to recognize a gain on the sale of assets instead of recognizing revenue. Our potential inability to obtain regulatory clearance, required government support, project financing, or enter into sales contracts with customers could adversely affect our business, liquidity and results of operations. Our inability to monetize our projects as planned, or any delay in obtaining the required initial payments to begin recognizing revenue under the relevant recognition criteria, and the corresponding revenue impact under the percentage-of-completion method of recognizing revenue, may cause large fluctuations in our revenue and other financial results. In the event the project is subsequently canceled, abandoned, or is deemed likely to occur, we will charge all prior capital costs as an operating expense in the quarter in which such determination is made, which could materially adversely affect operating results. Our liquidity could also be adversely impacted if we cannot obtain timely project financing or if project sales are delayed.
 
We have significant international activities and customers, and plan to continue these efforts, which subject us to additional business risks, including logistical complexity and political instability.
 
A substantial portion of our sales are made to customers outside of the United States, and a substantial portion of our supply agreements are with supply and equipment vendors located outside of the United States. Currently our solar cell and module production lines are located at our manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, Mexico, France and South Africa, and our joint venture's manufacturing facility in Malaysia. The majority of our solar panel assembly functions has historically been conducted by third-party contract manufacturers in China, Poland and Mexico. In addition, in January 2012, we completed the acquisition of Tenesol, a European-based manufacturer and developer of solar projects with significant international operations.
 
Risks we face in conducting business internationally include:

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multiple, conflicting and changing laws and regulations, export and import restrictions, employment laws,

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environmental protection, regulatory requirements and other government approvals, permits and licenses;

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difficulties and costs in staffing and managing foreign operations as well as cultural differences;

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potentially adverse tax consequences associated with our permanent establishment of operations in more countries;

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relatively uncertain legal systems, including potentially limited protection for intellectual property rights, and laws, changes in the governmental incentives we rely on, regulations and policies which impose additional restrictions on the ability of foreign companies to conduct business in certain countries or otherwise place them at a competitive disadvantage in relation to domestic companies;

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repatriation of non-U.S. earnings taxed at rates lower than the U.S. statutory effective tax rate;

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inadequate local infrastructure and developing telecommunications infrastructures;

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financial risks, such as longer sales and payment cycles and greater difficulty collecting accounts receivable;

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currency fluctuations and government-fixed foreign exchange rates and the effects of currency hedging activity or inability to hedge currency fluctuations;

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political and economic instability, including wars, acts of terrorism, political unrest, boycotts, curtailments of trade and other business restrictions;

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trade barriers such as export requirements, tariffs, taxes and other restrictions and expenses, which could increase the prices of our products and make us less competitive in some countries; and

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liabilities associated with compliance with laws (for example, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar laws outside of the United States).

In addition, we need to manage our international operations with an efficient and scalable organization. If we are unable to effectively manage our international inventory and warehouses, for example, our shipping movements may not map with product demand and flow. If we are unable to successfully manage any such risks, any one or more could materially and negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
If we are not successful in adding additional production lines, or we experience interruptions in the operation of our solar cell production lines, our revenue and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
 
If our current or future solar cell or module production lines were to experience any problems or downtime, we would be unable to meet our production targets and our business would suffer. Our manufacturing activities have required and will continue to require significant management attention, a significant investment of capital and substantial engineering expenditures.

Under a joint venture agreement, we and AU Optronics Corporation ("AUO") jointly own and manage a joint venture that has constructed a manufacturing facility in Malaysia. The success of our joint venture is subject to significant risks including:

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cost overruns, delays, supply shortages, equipment problems and other operating difficulties;

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custom-built equipment may take longer and cost more to engineer than planned and may never operate as designed;

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incorporating first-time equipment designs and technology improvements, which we expect to lower unit capital and operating costs, but this new technology may not be successful;

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problems managing the joint venture with AUO, whom we do not control and whose business objectives may be different from ours and may be inconsistent with our best interests;

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the joint venture's ability to obtain third party financing to fund its capital requirements;

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difficulties in maintaining or improving our historical yields and manufacturing efficiencies;

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difficulties in protecting our intellectual property and obtaining rights to intellectual property developed by the joint venture;

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difficulties in hiring key technical, management, and other personnel;

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difficulties in integration, implementing IT infrastructure and an effective control environment; and

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potential inability to obtain, or obtain in a timely manner, financing, or approvals from governmental authorities for operations.
 
If we experience any of these or similar difficulties, we may be unable to complete the addition of new production lines on schedule at our joint venture, and our supply from the joint venture may be delayed or be more costly than expected, substantially constraining our supply of solar cells. If we are unable to utilize our manufacturing capacity at the joint venture as planned, or we experience interruptions in the operation of our existing production lines, our per-unit manufacturing costs would increase, we would be unable to increase sales or gross margins as planned, we may need to increase our supply of third party cells, and our results of operations would likely be materially and adversely affected.
 
If we do not achieve satisfactory yields or quality in manufacturing our solar products, our sales could decrease and our relationships with our customers and our reputation may be harmed.
 
The manufacture of solar cells is a highly complex process. Minor deviations in the manufacturing process can cause substantial decreases in yield and in some cases, cause production to be suspended or yield no output. We have from time to time experienced lower than anticipated manufacturing yields. As we expand our manufacturing capacity and bring additional lines or facilities into production, we may initially experience lower yields. If we do not achieve planned yields, our product costs could increase, and product availability would decrease resulting in lower revenues than expected. In addition, in the process of transforming polysilicon into ingots, a significant portion of the polysilicon is removed in the process. In circumstances where we provide the polysilicon, if our suppliers do not have very strong controls in place to ensure maximum recovery and utilization, our economic yield can be less than anticipated, which would increase the cost of raw materials to us.
 
Additionally, products as complex as ours may contain undetected errors or defects, especially when first introduced. For example, our solar cells or solar panels may contain defects that are not detected until after they are shipped or are installed because we cannot test for all possible scenarios. These defects could cause us to incur significant warranty, non-warranty and re-engineering costs, divert the attention of our engineering personnel from product development efforts and significantly affect our customer relations and business reputation. If we deliver solar products with errors or defects, including cells or panels of third-party manufacturers, or if there is a perception that such solar products contain errors or defects, our credibility and the market acceptance and sales of our products could be harmed. In addition, some of our arrangements with customers include termination or put rights for non-performance. In certain limited cases, we could incur liquidated damages or even be required to buy-back a customer's system at fair value on specified future dates if certain minimum performance thresholds are not met.
 
A change in our estimated fair market value of financed and installed systems or a change in our anticipated 1603 Treasury cash grant proceeds could adversely impact our business, revenues, margins, and results of operations.

The accounting for certain projects and programs in our business require assumptions regarding certain U.S. tax incentives, primarily, the Treasury Grant under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the "Cash Grant") program, which is administered by the U.S. Treasury Department ("Treasury") and provides Cash Grant payments in lieu of the §48(c) solar commercial investment tax credit to qualified applicants in an amount equal to 30% of the eligible cost basis for the qualifying solar energy property.  We have applied or will apply for the Cash Grant for certain of our qualifying projects and residential leases that were under development in 2011.  Additionally, in certain circumstances and under our residential lease program, we indemnify certain third parties for their receipt or the valuation of the Cash Grant.  We have structured the Cash Grant applications, both in timing and amount, to be in accordance with the guidance provided by Treasury.  Any changes to the Treasury guidance which we relied upon in structuring our projects, failure to comply with the requirements, or changes in assumptions including the estimated residual values and the estimated fair market value of financed and installed systems for the purposes of Cash Grant application could materially and adversely impact our business and results of operations.  Additionally, if the amount or timing of the Cash Grant payments received varies from what we have projected, this will impact our revenues and margins and we may have to recognize losses, which will adversely impact our results of operations.

We obtain certain of our capital equipment used in our manufacturing process from sole suppliers and if this equipment is

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damaged or otherwise unavailable, our ability to deliver products on time will suffer, which in turn could result in order cancellations and loss of revenue.
 
Some of the capital equipment used in the manufacture of our solar power products has been developed and made specifically for us, is not readily available from multiple vendors and would be difficult to repair or replace if it were to become damaged or stop working. If any of these suppliers were to experience financial difficulties or go out of business, or if there were any damage to or a breakdown of our manufacturing equipment, our business would suffer. In addition, a supplier's failure to supply this equipment in a timely manner, with adequate quality and on terms acceptable to us, could delay our capacity expansion or manufacturing process improvements and otherwise disrupt our production schedule or increase our costs of production.
 
Project development or construction activities may not be successful, which could increase our costs and impair our ability to recover our investments.
 
The development and construction of solar power electric generation facilities and other energy infrastructure projects involve numerous risks. We may be required to spend significant sums for preliminary engineering, permitting, legal, and other expenses before we can determine whether a project is feasible, economically attractive or capable of being built. Successful completion of a particular project may be adversely affected by numerous factors, including:

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failures or delays in obtaining desired or necessary land rights, including ownership, leases and/or easements;

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failures or delays in obtaining necessary permits, licenses or other governmental support or approvals, or in overcoming objections from members of the public or adjoining land owners;

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uncertainties relating to land costs for projects;

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unforeseen engineering problems;

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access to available transmission for electricity generated by our solar power plants;

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construction delays and contractor performance shortfalls;

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work stoppages or labor disruptions;

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cost over-runs;

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availability of products and components from suppliers;

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adverse weather conditions;

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environmental, archaeological and geological conditions; and

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availability of construction and permanent financing.

If we are unable to complete the development of a solar power plant, or fail to meet one or more agreed target construction milestone dates, we may be subject to liquidated damages and/or penalties under the EPC agreement or other agreements relating to the power plant, and we typically will not be able to recover our investment in the project. We expect to invest a significant amount of capital to develop projects initially owned by us or ultimately owned by third parties. If we are unable to complete the development of a solar power project, we may write-down or write-off some or all of these capitalized investments, which would have an adverse impact on our net income in the period in which the loss is recognized.
 
We depend on third-party contract manufacturers to assemble a significant portion of our solar cells into solar panels and any failure to obtain sufficient assembly and test capacity could significantly delay our ability to ship our solar panels and damage our customer relationships.
 
The majority of our solar panel assembly functions have historically been conducted by third-party contract manufacturers in China, Poland and Mexico. In 2011, we began module operations with a contract manufacturer in the United States, and opened our own module operations in Mexico. As a result of outsourcing a significant portion of this final step in our production, we face several significant risks, including limited control over assembly and testing capacity, delivery

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schedules, quality assurance, manufacturing yields and production costs. If the operations of our third-party contract manufacturers were disrupted or their financial stability impaired, or if they were unable or unwilling to devote capacity to our solar panels in a timely manner, our business could suffer as we might be unable to produce finished solar panels on a timely basis. We also risk customer delays resulting from an inability to move module production to an alternate provider or to complete production internationally, and it may not be possible to obtain sufficient capacity or comparable production costs at another facility in a timely manner. In addition, migrating our design methodology to a new third-party contract manufacturer or to a captive panel assembly facility could involve increased costs, resources and development time, and utilizing additional third-party contract manufacturers could expose us to further risk of losing control over our intellectual property and the quality of our solar panels. Any reduction in the supply of solar panels could impair our revenue by significantly delaying our ability to ship products and potentially damage our relationships with new and existing customers, any of which could have a material and adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operation.
 
We act as the general contractor for many of our customers in connection with the installations of our solar power systems and are subject to risks associated with construction, cost overruns, delays and other contingencies tied to performance bonds and letters of credit, or other required credit and liquidity support guarantees, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 
We act as the general contractor for many of our customers in connection with the installation of our solar power systems. Some customers require performance bonds issued by a bonding agency or letters of credit issued by financial institutions, or may require other forms of liquidity support. Due to the general performance risk inherent in construction activities, it has become increasingly difficult recently to attain suitable bonding agencies willing to provide performance bonding. Obtaining letters of credit may require collateral. In the event we are unable to obtain bonding or sufficient letters of credit or other liquidity support, we will be unable to bid on, or enter into, sales contracts requiring such bonding. See also "Risks Related to Our Sales Channels--Almost all of our engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") contracts are fixed price contracts which may be insufficient to cover unanticipated or dramatic changes in costs over the life of the project."
 
In addition, the contracts with some of our larger customers require that we would be obligated to pay substantial penalty payments for each day or other period a solar installation for any such customer is not completed beyond an agreed target date, up to and including the return of the entire project sale price. This is particularly true in Europe, where long-term, fixed feed-in tariffs available to investors are typically set during a prescribed period of project completion, but the fixed amount declines over time for projects completed in subsequent periods. We face material financial penalties in the event we fail to meet the completion deadlines, including but not limited a full refund of the contract price paid by the customers. In certain cases we do not control all of the events which could give rise to these penalties, such as reliance on the local utility to timely complete electrical substation construction.
 
Furthermore, investors often require that the solar power system generate specified levels of electricity in order to maintain their investment returns, allocating substantial risk and financial penalties to us if those levels are not achieved, up to and including the return of the entire project sale price. Also, our customers often require protections in the form of conditional payments, payment retentions or holdbacks, and similar arrangements that condition its future payments on performance. Delays in solar panel or other supply shipments, other construction delays, unexpected performance problems in electricity generation or other events could cause us to fail to meet these performance criteria, resulting in unanticipated and severe revenue and earnings losses and financial penalties. Construction delays are often caused by inclement weather, failure to timely receive necessary approvals and permits, or delays in obtaining necessary solar panels, inverters or other materials. Additionally, we sometimes purchase land in connection with project development and assume the risk of project completion. All such risks could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 
Acquisitions of other companies or investments in joint ventures with other companies could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations, and dilute our stockholders' equity.
 
To increase our business and maintain our competitive position, we may acquire other companies or engage in joint ventures in the future. For example, in March 2010, we completed our acquisition of SunRay, in July 2010, we formed a joint venture with AUO to jointly own and operate our third solar cell manufacturing factory located in Malaysia, and in January 2012, we acquired Tenesol. See also "If we are not successful in adding additional production lines, or we experience interruptions in the operation of our solar cell production lines, our revenue and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected."
 
Acquisitions and joint ventures involve a number of risks that could harm our business and result in the acquired business or joint venture not performing as expected, including:


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insufficient experience with technologies and markets in which the acquired business or joint venture is involved, which may be necessary to successfully operate and/or integrate the business or the joint venture;

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problems integrating the acquired operations, personnel, IT infrastructure, technologies or products with the existing business and products;

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diversion of management time and attention from the core business to the acquired business or joint venture;

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potential failure to retain or hire key technical, management, sales and other personnel of the acquired business or joint venture;

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difficulties in retaining or building relationships with suppliers and customers of the acquired business or joint venture, particularly where such customers or suppliers compete with us;

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potential failure of the due diligence processes to identify significant issues with product quality and development or legal and financial liabilities, among other things;

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potential inability to obtain, or obtain in a timely manner, approvals from governmental authorities or work councils, which could delay or prevent acquisitions, delay our ability to achieve synergies, or our successful operation of acquired companies or joint ventures;

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potential necessity to re-apply for permits of acquired projects;

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problems managing joint ventures with our partners, meeting capital requirements for expansion, and reliance upon joint ventures which we do not control; for example, our ability to effectively manage our joint venture with AUO;

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subsequent impairment of the acquired assets, including intangible assets; and

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assumption of liabilities including, but not limited to, lawsuits, tax examinations, warranty issues, and liabilities associated with compliance with laws (for example, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act).

Additionally, we may decide that it is in our best interests to enter into acquisitions or joint ventures that are dilutive to earnings per share or that negatively impact margins as a whole. In an effort to reduce our cost of goods sold, we have and may continue to enter into acquisitions or joint ventures involving suppliers or manufacturing partners, which would expose us to additional supply chain risks. Acquisitions or joint ventures could also require investment of significant financial resources and require us to obtain additional equity financing, which may dilute our stockholders' equity, or require us to incur additional indebtedness. Such equity or debt financing may not be available on terms acceptable to us. For example, we, along with AUO, have committed to equally fund the AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd. joint venture a combined $482 million through 2014, and an additional $50 million if requested. In addition, we could in the future make additional investments in our joint ventures or guarantee certain financial obligations of our joint ventures, which could reduce our cash flows, increase our indebtedness and expose us to the credit risk of our joint ventures.
 
To the extent that we invest in upstream suppliers or downstream channel capabilities, we may experience competition or channel conflict with certain of our existing and potential suppliers and customers. Specifically, existing and potential suppliers and customers may perceive that we are competing directly with them by virtue of such investments and may decide to reduce or eliminate their supply volume to us or order volume from us. In particular, any supply reductions from our polysilicon, ingot or wafer suppliers could materially reduce manufacturing volume.
 
As a result of fluctuations in the demand for our products, our goodwill, intangible assets, tangible project assets, and other long-lived assets may be impaired, or we may write off equipment or inventory, and each of these events would adversely affect our future financial results.

We have tangible project assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets related to capitalized costs incurred in connection with the development of solar power systems. Project assets consist primarily of capitalized costs relating to solar power system projects in various stages of development that we incur prior to the sale of the solar power system to a third party. These costs include costs for land and costs for developing and constructing a solar power system. These project assets could become impaired if there are changes in the fair value of these capitalized costs. If these project assets become impaired, we may write-off some or all of the capitalized project assets, which would have an adverse impact on our financial results in the period in which the loss is recognized.

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We have significant goodwill and intangible assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. We conduct our annual review of the valuation of goodwill as of the Sunday closest to the end of the third fiscal quarter of each year, or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. Triggering events for an impairment review may include indicators such as the availability, reduction, modification or elimination of government and economic incentives, adverse industry or economic trends, lower than projected operating results or cash flows, or a sustained decline in our stock price or market capitalization. During the three months ended October 2, 2011, we recorded a goodwill impairment loss of $309.5 million. The evaluation of the fair value of goodwill involves valuation techniques which require significant management judgment. Should conditions be different from management's last impairment assessment, write-downs of goodwill may be required, which would result in a non-cash charge to earnings and lower stockholders' equity. 

In addition, if the demand for our solar products decreases, our manufacturing capacity could be underutilized, and we may be required to record an impairment on our long-lived assets, including facilities and equipment, which would increase our expenses. In improving our manufacturing processes consistent with our cost reduction roadmap, we could write off equipment that is removed from the manufacturing process. In addition, if product demand decreases or we fail to forecast demand accurately, we could be required to write off inventory or record excess capacity charges, which would have a negative impact on our gross margin. Factory-planning decisions may shorten the useful lives of long-lived assets, including facilities and equipment, and cause us to accelerate depreciation. Each of the above events would adversely affect our future financial results.

Fluctuations in Solar Renewable Energy Credits spot prices may adversely impact our results of operations.

We acquire Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) in the ordinary course of business in New Jersey, which are credits generated and then sold to local utilities to help them meet renewable energy portfolio requirements in New Jersey.  In order to facilitate sales, we have agreed in certain cases to purchase all SRECs generated by a solar system we install for a specified period at specified pricing.  We then sell such credits to utilities or other third parties at specified pricing or we will sell the SRECs on the spot market.  The SREC spot market prices have decreased significantly in recent months as supply of SRECs have increased, and the decline has exposed us to economic losses for SRECs we expect to purchase in excess of our selling commitments.  If SREC prices continue to fluctuate or remain lower than our purchase commitment prices, we may have to recognize losses, which will adversely impact our results of operations.

A change in our anticipated foreign exchange transactions could affect the accounting of our foreign currency hedging program and adversely impact our revenues, margins, and results of operations.

Our hedging program is designed to reduce our exposure to movements in foreign currency exchange rates. As a part of this program, we designate certain derivative transactions as effective cash flow hedges of anticipated foreign currency revenues and record the effective portion of changes in the fair value of such transactions in "Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)" in our Consolidated Balance Sheets until the anticipated revenues have occurred, at which point the associated income or loss would be recognized in revenue. In fiscal 2011, we reclassified amounts held in "Accumulated other comprehensive income" to "Other, net" in our Consolidated Statement of Operations for certain previously anticipated transactions which did not occur or were now probable not to occur, which totaled a loss of $1.6 million. If we conclude that we have a pattern of determining that hedged forecasted transactions will not occur, we may no longer be able to continue to use hedge accounting in the future to reduce our exposure to movements in foreign exchange rates. Such a conclusion and change in our foreign currency hedge program could adversely impact our revenue, margins and results of operations.

Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates could adversely impact our business and results of operations.
 
We have significant sales globally, and we are exposed to movements in foreign exchange rates, primarily related to sales to European customers that are denominated in Euros. A depreciation of the Euro would adversely impact our margins on sales to European customers. When foreign currencies appreciate against the U.S. dollar, inventories and expenses denominated in foreign currencies become more expensive. An increase in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies could make our solar power products more expensive for international customers, thus potentially leading to a reduction in demand, our sales and profitability. As a result, substantial unfavorable changes in foreign currency exchange rates could have a substantial adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Although we seek to reduce our currency exposure by engaging in hedging transactions where we deem it appropriate, we do not know whether our efforts will be successful. Because we hedge some of our expected future foreign exchange exposure, if associated revenues do not materialize, we could experience losses. In the past, we have experienced an adverse impact on our revenue, gross margin, cash position and profitability as a result of foreign currency fluctuations. In addition, any break-up of the Eurozone would disrupt our sales and supply chain, expose us to financial counterparty risk, and materially and adversely affect our results of

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operations and financial condition.
 
We are exposed to interest rate risk because many of our customers depend on debt financing to purchase our solar power systems. An increase in interest rates could make it difficult for our customers to obtain the financing necessary to purchase our solar power systems on favorable terms, or at all, and thus lower demand for our solar power products, reduce revenue and adversely impact our operating results. An increase in interest rates could lower a customer's return on investment in a system or make alternative investments more attractive relative to solar power systems, which, in each case, could cause our customers to seek alternative investments that promise higher returns or demand higher returns from our solar power systems, which could reduce our revenue and gross margin and adversely impact our operating results. Our interest expense would increase to the extent interest rates rise in connection with our variable interest rate borrowings. In addition, lower interest rates have an adverse impact on our interest income. See also Item 7A “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” and “Risks Related to Our Sales Channels-The execution of our growth strategy is dependent upon the continued availability of third-party financing arrangements for our solar power plants and our customers, and is affected by general economic conditions.”
 
We are exposed to the credit risk of our financial counterparties, customers and suppliers.
 
We have certain financial and derivative instruments that subject us to credit risk. These consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and cash equivalents, investments, accounts receivable, note receivable, advances to suppliers, foreign currency option contracts, foreign currency forward contracts, bond hedge and warrant transactions, purchased options and share lending arrangements for our common stock. We are exposed to losses in the event of nonperformance by the counterparties to our financial and derivative instruments. For example, in connection with the bankruptcy of Lehman, the fair value of the 2.9 million shares of our common stock loaned and unreturned by an affiliate of Lehman at the time of the bankruptcy was $213.4 million, which was reflected in the third quarter of fiscal 2008 as a loss on our statement of operations.
 
We enter into agreements with suppliers that specify future quantities and pricing of polysilicon to be supplied for periods up to 10 years. Under certain agreements, we are required to make significant prepayments to the vendors over the terms of the arrangements. We may be unable to recover such prepayments if the credit conditions of these suppliers materially deteriorate. In addition, we may not be able to collect from our customers in the event of the deterioration of their credit or if they enter into bankruptcy. Any of the preceding could materially and adversely impact our financial conditions, results of operations and liquidity. See also Item 7A “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”
 
While we believe we currently have effective internal control over financial reporting, we may identify a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting that could cause investors to lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements and result in a decrease in the value of our common stock.
 
Our management is responsible for maintaining internal control over financial reporting designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of consolidated financial statements for external purposes in accordance with U.S. GAAP. While the Company had material weaknesses in fiscal 2009, management remediated these material weaknesses, and concluded that as of January 2, 2011 and January 1, 2012, our internal control over financial reporting and our disclosure controls and procedures were effective.
 
We need to continuously maintain our internal control processes and systems and adapt them as our business grows and changes. This process is expensive, time-consuming and requires significant management attention. We cannot be certain that our internal control measures will continue to provide adequate control over our financial processes and reporting and ensure compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Furthermore, as we grow our business or acquire other businesses, our internal controls may become more complex and we may require significantly more resources to ensure they remain effective. Failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, either in our existing business or in businesses that we may acquire, could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. If we or our independent registered public accounting firm identify material weaknesses in our internal controls, the disclosure of that fact, even if quickly remedied, may cause investors to lose confidence in our financial statements and the trading price of our common stock may decline.

Remediation of a material weakness could require us to incur significant expense and if we fail to remedy any material weakness, our financial statements may be inaccurate, our ability to report our financial results on a timely and accurate basis may be adversely affected, our access to the capital markets may be restricted, the trading price of our common stock may decline, and we may be subject to sanctions or investigation by regulatory authorities, including the SEC or The Nasdaq Global Select Market. We may also be required to restate our financial statements from prior periods.
 

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We and certain of our current and former officers and directors have been named as parties to various lawsuits relating to our past Audit Committee accounting investigation, and may be named in further litigation, including with respect to the restatement of our consolidated financial statements, all of which could require significant management time and attention, result in significant legal expenses or damages, and cause our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows to suffer.
 
Three securities class action lawsuits were filed against our Company and certain of our current and former officers in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of a class consisting of those who acquired our securities from April 17, 2008, through November 16, 2009. The actions arise from our announcement on November 16, 2009, that our Audit Committee commenced an internal investigation regarding certain unsubstantiated accounting entries. The complaints allege that the defendants made material misstatements and omissions concerning our financial results for 2008 and 2009, seek an unspecified amount of damages, and allege violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933. These cases were consolidated as In re SunPower Securities Litigation, Case No. CV-09-5473-RS (N.D. Cal.), and an amended complaint was filed on April 18, 2011. The amended complaint added two former employees as defendants. Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint, and on December 19, 2011, the court dismissed the claims brought pursuant to sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and the claims brought against the two newly added former employees. In addition, derivative actions purporting to be brought on our behalf have also been filed in state and federal courts against several of our current and former officers and directors based on the same events alleged in the securities class action lawsuits described above. The California state derivative complaints assert state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, unjust enrichment, gross mismanagement, and waste of corporate assets. The federal derivative complaints assert state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, and unjust enrichment. The Delaware state derivative complaint asserts state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty and contribution and indemnification. The complaints seek an unspecified amount of damages.
 
We cannot predict the outcome of these lawsuits. The matters which led to our Audit Committee's investigation and the restatement of our consolidated financial statements have exposed us to greater risks associated with litigation, regulatory proceedings and government enforcement actions. We and our current and former officers and directors may, in the future, be subject to additional private and governmental actions relating to such matters. Subject to certain limitations, we are obligated to indemnify our current and former officers and directors in connection with such lawsuits and governmental investigations and any related litigation or settlements amounts. Regardless of the outcome, these lawsuits, and any other litigation that may be brought against us or our current or former officers and directors, could be time-consuming, result in significant expense and divert the attention and resources of our management and other key employees. An unfavorable outcome in any of these matters could exceed coverage provided under potentially applicable insurance policies, which is limited. Any such unfavorable outcome could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Further, we could be required to pay damages or additional penalties or have other remedies imposed against us, or our current or former directors or officers, which could harm our reputation, business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. In addition, our Company is largely self insured for these claims so that expenses, settlements or damages in excess of $5 million in these actions will not be recoverable under the primary coverage insurance policies. Moreover, such policies are subject to several terms, conditions and exclusions. See also "Risks Related to Our Liquidity - Because we self-insure for certain indemnities we have made to our officers and directors, potential claims could materially and negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations."
 
We may not fully realize the anticipated benefits of our relationship with Total.

We and Total S.A., parent of Total Gas & Power USA SAS ("Total"), have entered into a Credit Support Agreement under which Total S.A. has agreed to enter into one or more guarantee agreements with banks providing letter of credit facilities to us in support of certain of our businesses and other permitted purposes. Total S.A. will guarantee the payment to the applicable issuing bank of our obligation to reimburse a draw on a letter of credit and pay interest thereon in accordance with the letter of credit facility between such bank and us. In consideration for the commitments of Total S.A., we are required to pay Total S.A. a guarantee fee for each letter of credit that is the subject of a guaranty, starting at 1% and increasing to 2.35% in the fifth year following the completion of the tender offer. We entered into a letter of credit facility agreement with Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch in August 2011 supported by a Total S.A. guarantee. We have also entered into the Liquidity Support Facility, under which Total S.A. has agreed to provide up to $600 million of liquidity support in the event that our then-current or projected unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and unused borrowing capacity is reduced below $100 million or we are not in compliance with any financial covenant contained in our indebtedness.

We and Total have also entered into a Research & Collaboration Agreement that establishes a framework under which we engage in long-term research and development collaboration with Total. The Research & Collaboration Agreement is expected to encompass a number of different projects, with a focus on advancing technologies in the area of photovoltaics.

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We may not realize the expected benefits of these agreements in a timely manner, or at all. The Credit Support Agreement can provide guarantees to our letter of credit facility, but not our other indebtedness.  As the guarantee fee goes up over time, it may not be price competitive for us to continue to utilize the guarantee under the Credit Support Agreement and we may choose not to do so, which may cause our lenders to seek cash collateral.  If the credit quality of Total S.A. were to deteriorate, then the guarantees would not be as beneficial to our lenders, which could reduce their willingness to lend to us and raise our costs of borrowing. We could incur additional expenses related to the Credit Support Agreement, especially relating to the guarantee fee. The Liquidity Support Facility may provide comfort to lenders, customers, suppliers and other business partners and protect us against defaults, but compensation to Total S.A. and its affiliates, and potential dilution to our other stockholders (through the issuance of equity, warrants, and convertible debt securities to Total S.A. and its affiliates) will increase to the extent that the amount of support provided by Total S.A. increases. The amount of support Total S.A. must provide under the Liquidity Support Facility is limited to $600 million. Finally, the facility will no longer be available, and all outstanding debt under the Liquidity Support Facility will become due, upon the completion of CVSR, which we expect to occur before the end of fiscal 2014. For additional details, see Item 9B of this Annual Report.

We may have difficulties in fully leveraging the research and development efforts of Total while protecting our intellectual property rights and our long term strategic interests. Further, the collaboration envisioned by the parties from the Research & Collaboration Agreement could be subject to governmental controls that could limit the full set of benefits

In addition, we are a U.S.-based, high growth, technology and alternative energy company, while Total S.A. is a more mature and much larger French diversified energy company. The resulting differences in our organizational cultures may prevent us from fully realizing the anticipated benefits from our relationship. If we have a potential conflict with Total, the resolution may be less favorable to us than if we were dealing with an unaffiliated party. Such disagreements may relate to any determination with respect to mergers and other business combinations, our acquisition or disposition of assets, our financing activities, allocation of business opportunities, employee retention or recruiting.

Total's ownership of our common stock may adversely affect our relationship with our customers, suppliers, lenders and partners, and adversely affect our ability to attract and retain key employees.

Total's majority ownership of our common stock may cause customers, suppliers, lenders, and partners to seek to change existing or future agreements with us. Any delay or reevaluation of their decisions or changes in existing agreements could materially impact our business. Similarly, current and prospective employees may experience uncertainty about their future roles with our company, or react negatively to the differences in our organizational cultures.

Our agreements with Cypress Semiconductor Corporation ("Cypress") require us to indemnify Cypress for certain tax liabilities. These indemnification obligations and related contractual restrictions may limit our ability to pursue certain business initiatives.
 
On October 6, 2005, while a subsidiary of Cypress, our former parent company, we entered into a tax sharing agreement with Cypress providing for each party's obligations concerning various tax liabilities. The tax sharing agreement is structured such that Cypress would pay all federal, state, local and foreign taxes that are calculated on a consolidated or combined basis while we were a member of Cypress's consolidated or combined group for federal, state, local and foreign tax purposes. Our portion of tax liabilities or benefits was determined based upon our separate return tax liability as defined under the tax sharing agreement. These tax liabilities or benefits were based on a pro forma calculation as if we were filing a separate income tax return in each jurisdiction, rather than on a combined or consolidated basis, subject to adjustments as set forth in the tax sharing agreement.
 
On June 6, 2006, we ceased to be a member of Cypress's consolidated group for federal income tax purposes and certain state income tax purposes. On September 29, 2008, we ceased to be a member of Cypress's combined group for all state income tax purposes. To the extent that we become entitled to utilize our separate portion of any tax credit or loss carryforwards existing as of such date, we will distribute to Cypress the tax effect, estimated to be 40% for federal and state income tax purposes, of the amount of such tax loss carryforwards so utilized, and the amount of any credit carryforwards so utilized. We will distribute these amounts to Cypress in cash or in our shares, at Cypress's option. As of January 1, 2012, we have a potential future liability of approximately $2.2 million that may be due under this arrangement. In fiscal 2011 and 2010, we paid zero and $0.7 million, respectively, in cash to Cypress, all of which represents the state component.
 
We were jointly and severally liable for any tax liability during all periods in which we were deemed to be a member of the Cypress consolidated or combined group. Accordingly, although the tax sharing agreement allocates tax liabilities between Cypress and all its consolidated subsidiaries, for any period in which we were included in Cypress's consolidated or combined

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group, we could be liable in the event that any federal or state tax liability was incurred, but not discharged, by any other member of the group.
 
We will continue to be jointly and severally liable to Cypress until the statute of limitations runs or all appeal options are exercised for all years in which we joined in the filing of tax returns with Cypress. If Cypress experiences adjustments to their tax liability pursuant to tax examinations, we may incur an incremental liability.
 
In January 2010, Cypress was notified by the IRS that it intends to examine Cypress's corporate income tax filings for the tax years ended in 2006, 2007, and 2008. SunPower was included as part of Cypress's federal consolidated group in 2006 and part of 2007. 
 
As of January 1, 2012, Cypress notified us that the IRS has completed its examination and there are no material adjustments upon completion of their review. While years prior to fiscal 2006 for Cypress's U.S. corporate tax return are not open for assessment, the IRS can adjust net operating loss and research and development carryovers that were generated in prior years and carried forward to fiscal 2006 and subsequent years. If the IRS sustains tax assessments against Cypress, we may be obligated to indemnify Cypress under the terms of the tax sharing agreement.
 
We would also be liable to Cypress for taxes that might arise from the distribution by Cypress of our former class B common stock to Cypress's stockholders on September 29, 2008, or "spin-off". In connection with Cypress's spin-off of our former class B common stock, we and Cypress, on August 12, 2008, entered into an amendment to our tax sharing agreement (“Amended Tax Sharing Agreement”) to address certain transactions that may affect the tax treatment of the spin-off and certain other matters.
 
Subject to certain caveats, Cypress obtained a ruling from the IRS to the effect that the distribution by Cypress of our former class B common stock to Cypress's stockholders qualified as a tax-free distribution under Section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”). Despite such ruling, the distribution may nonetheless be taxable to Cypress under Section 355(e) of the Code if 50% or more of the voting power or value of our stock was or is later acquired as part of a plan or series of related transactions that included the distribution of our stock. The Amended Tax Sharing Agreement requires us to indemnify Cypress for any liability incurred as a result of issuances or dispositions of our stock after the distribution, other than liability attributable to certain dispositions of our stock by Cypress, that cause Cypress's distribution of shares of our stock to its stockholders to be taxable to Cypress under Section 355(e) of the Code. 
 
Under the Amended Tax Sharing Agreement, we also agreed that, until October 29, 2010, we would not effect a conversion of any or all of our former class B common stock to former class A common stock or any similar recapitalization transaction or series of related transactions (a “Recapitalization”). On November 16, 2011, we reclassified our former class A common stock and class B common stock into a single class of common stock. In the event this reclassification does result in the spin-off being treated as taxable, we could face substantial liabilities as a result of our obligations under the Amended Tax Sharing Agreement.

Any future agreements with Total SA regarding tax indemnification and certain tax liabilities may adversely impact our financial position.

We currently believe that we will not join in tax filings on a consolidated, combined or unitary basis with Total SA. Accordingly, no tax sharing arrangement is currently in place. If we and Total join in a tax filing in the future, a tax sharing agreement will be required, which would allocate the tax liabilities among the parties and may adversely impact our financial position.
  
Our headquarters and manufacturing facilities, as well as the facilities of certain subcontractors and suppliers, are located in regions that are subject to earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, and climate change and climate change regulation could have an adverse effect on our operations.
 
Our headquarters and research and development operations are located in California, and our manufacturing facilities are located in the Philippines, France and Mexico. The facilities of our joint venture for manufacturing and subcontractors for assembly and test of solar panels are located globally, including in Malaysia, China, Poland, South Africa, and Mexico. Any significant earthquake, tsunami or other natural disaster in these countries or countries where our suppliers are located could materially disrupt our management operations and/or our production capabilities, and could result in our experiencing a significant delay in delivery, or substantial shortage, of our products and services.
 
In addition, legislators, regulators, and non-governmental organizations, as well as companies in many business sectors,

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are considering ways to reduce green-house gas emissions. Further regulation could be forthcoming at the federal or state level with respect to green-house gas emissions. Such regulation or similar regulations in other countries could result in regulatory or product standard requirements for our global business, including our manufacturing operations. Furthermore, the potential physical impacts of climate change on our operations may include changes in weather patterns (including floods, tsunamis, drought and rainfall levels), water availability, storm patterns and intensities, and temperature levels. These potential physical effects may adversely impact the cost, production, sales and financial performance of our operations.
 
We could be adversely affected by any violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and foreign anti-bribery laws.
 
The U.S. FCPA generally prohibits companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Other countries in which we operate also have anti-bribery laws, some of which prohibit improper payments to government and non-government persons and entities. Our policies mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws. We continue to acquire businesses outside of the United States and operate in many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. In addition, due to the level of regulation in our industry, our entry into new jurisdictions through internal growth or acquisitions requires substantial government contact where norms can differ from U.S. standards. While we implement policies and procedures and conduct training designed to facilitate compliance with these anti-bribery laws, thereby mitigating the risk of violations of such laws, our employees, subcontractors and agents may take actions in violation of our policies and anti-bribery laws. Any such violation, even if prohibited by our policies, could subject us to criminal or civil penalties or other sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and reputation.
 
We sell our solar products to agencies of the U.S. government, and as a result, we are subject to a number of procurement rules and regulations, and our business could be adversely affected by an audit by the U.S. government if it were to identify errors or a failure to comply with regulations.
 
We have sold and continue to sell our solar power systems to various U.S. government agencies. In connection with these contracts, we must comply with and are affected by laws and regulations relating to the award, administration, and performance of U.S. government contracts, which may impose added costs on our business. We are expected to perform in compliance with a vast array of federal laws and regulations, including, without limitation, the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the Truth in Negotiations Act, the Federal False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Act of 1986, the Trade Agreements Act, the Buy American Act, the Procurement Integrity Act, and the Davis Bacon Act. A violation of specific laws and regulations, even if prohibited by our policies, could result in the imposition of fines and penalties, reductions of the value of our contracts, contract modifications or termination, or suspension or debarment from government contracting for a period of time.
 
In some instances, these laws and regulations impose terms or rights that are more favorable to the government than those typically available to commercial parties in negotiated transactions. For example, the U.S. government may terminate any of our government contracts either at its convenience or for default based on performance. A termination arising out of our default may expose us to liability and have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete for future contracts.
 
U.S. government agencies may audit and investigate government contractors. These agencies review a contractor's performance under its contracts, cost structure, and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and standards. If an audit or investigation uncovers improper or illegal activities, we may be subject to civil or criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination of contracts, forfeiture of profits, suspension of payments, fines, and suspension or prohibition from doing business with the U.S. government. In addition, we could suffer reputational harm if allegations of impropriety were made against us.
 
Compliance with environmental regulations can be expensive, and noncompliance with these regulations may result in adverse publicity and potentially significant monetary damages and fines.
 
We are required to comply with all foreign, U.S. federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding pollution control and protection of the environment. In addition, under some statutes and regulations, a government agency, or other parties, may seek recovery and response costs from operators of property where releases of hazardous substances have occurred or are ongoing, even if the operator was not responsible for such release or otherwise at fault. We use, generate and discharge toxic, volatile and otherwise hazardous chemicals and wastes in our research and development and manufacturing activities. Any failure by us to control the use of, or to restrict adequately the discharge of, hazardous substances could subject us to potentially significant monetary damages and fines or suspensions in our business operations. In addition, if more stringent laws and regulations are adopted in the future, the costs of compliance with these new laws and regulations could be substantial. To date

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such laws and regulations have not had a significant impact on our operations, and we believe that we have all necessary permits to conduct operations as they are presently conducted. If we fail to comply with present or future environmental laws and regulations, however, we may be required to pay substantial fines, suspend production or cease operations.
 
In addition, new U.S. legislation includes disclosure requirements regarding the use of "conflict" minerals mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries and procedures regarding a manufacturer's efforts to prevent the sourcing of such “conflict” minerals. The implementation of these requirements could affect the sourcing and availability of minerals used in the manufacture of solar products. As a result, there may only be a limited pool of suppliers who provide conflict free minerals, and we cannot be certain that we will be able to obtain products in sufficient quantities or at competitive prices. Also, since our supply chain is complex, we may face reputational challenges with our customers and other stakeholders if we are unable to sufficiently verify the origins for all minerals used in our products.
 
Our success depends on the continuing contributions of our key personnel.
 
We rely heavily on the services of our key executive officers and the loss of services of any principal member of our management team could adversely impact our operations. In addition, we anticipate that we will need to hire a number of highly skilled technical, manufacturing, sales, marketing, administrative and accounting personnel. The competition for qualified personnel is intense in our industry. We may not be successful in attracting and retaining sufficient numbers of qualified personnel to support our anticipated growth. We cannot guarantee that any employee will remain employed with us for any definite period of time since all of our employees, including our key executive officers, serve at-will and may terminate their employment at any time for any reason.
 
We may in the future be required to consolidate the assets, liabilities and financial results of certain of our existing or future joint ventures, which could have an adverse impact on our financial position, gross margin and operating results.
 
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued accounting guidance regarding variable interest entities ("VIEs") that affects our accounting treatment of our existing and future joint ventures. We have variable interests in First Philec Solar Corporation and our joint venture with AUO. To ascertain if we are required to consolidate these entities, we determine whether these entities are VIEs and if we are the primary beneficiary in accordance with the accounting guidance. Factors we consider in determining whether we are the VIE's primary beneficiary include the decision making authority of each partner, which partner manages the day-to-day operations of the joint venture and each partner's obligation to absorb losses or right to receive benefits from the joint venture in relation to that of the other partner. Changes in the financial accounting guidance, or changes in circumstances at each of these joint ventures, could lead us to determine that we have to consolidate the assets, liabilities and financial results of such joint ventures. This could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, gross margin and operating results. In addition, we may enter into future joint ventures or make other equity investments, which could have an adverse impact on us because of the financial accounting guidance regarding VIEs. 

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

We are dependent on our intellectual property, and we may face intellectual property infringement claims that could be time-consuming and costly to defend and could result in the loss of significant rights.

From time to time, we, our respective customers, or third parties with whom we work may receive letters, including letters from various industry participants, alleging infringement of their patents. Although we are not currently aware of any parties pursuing or intending to pursue infringement claims against us, we cannot assure investors that we will not be subject to such claims in the future. Additionally, we are required by contract to indemnify some of our customers and our third-party intellectual property providers for certain costs and damages of patent infringement in circumstances where our products are a factor creating the customer's or these third-party providers' infringement liability. This practice may subject us to significant indemnification claims by our customers and our third-party providers. We cannot assure investors that indemnification claims will not be made or that these claims will not harm our business, operating results or financial condition. Intellectual property litigation is very expensive and time-consuming and could divert management's attention from our business and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition. If there is a successful claim of infringement against us, our customers or our third-party intellectual property providers, we may be required to pay substantial damages to the party claiming infringement, stop selling products or using technology that contains the allegedly infringing intellectual property, or enter into royalty or license agreements that may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all. Parties making infringement claims may also be able to bring an action before the International Trade Commission that could result in an order stopping the importation into the United States of our solar products. Any of these judgments could materially damage our business. We may have to develop non-infringing technology, and our failure in doing so or in obtaining licenses to the proprietary rights on a timely basis could have a material adverse effect on our business.

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We have filed, and may continue to file, claims against other parties for infringing our intellectual property that may be very costly and may not be resolved in our favor.

To protect our intellectual property rights and to maintain our competitive advantage, we have, and may continue to, file suits against parties who we believe infringe our intellectual property. Intellectual property litigation is expensive and time consuming and could divert management's attention from our business and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition, and our enforcement efforts may not be successful. In addition, the validity of our patents may be challenged in such litigation. Our participation in intellectual property enforcement actions may negatively impact our financial results.

We rely substantially upon trade secret laws and contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary rights, and, if these rights are not sufficiently protected, our ability to compete and generate revenue could suffer.

We seek to protect our proprietary manufacturing processes, documentation and other written materials primarily under trade secret and copyright laws. We also typically require employees, consultants, and third parties such as our vendors and customers, with access to our proprietary information to execute confidentiality agreements. The steps taken by us to protect our proprietary information may not be adequate to prevent misappropriation of our technology. Our systems may be subject to intrusions, security breaches, or targeted theft of our trade secrets. In addition, our proprietary rights may not be adequately protected because:

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people may not be deterred from misappropriating our technologies despite the existence of laws or contracts prohibiting it;

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policing unauthorized use of our intellectual property may be difficult, expensive and time-consuming, the remedy obtained may be inadequate to restore protection of our intellectual property, and moreover, we may be unable to determine the extent of any unauthorized use;

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the laws of other countries in which we market our solar products, such as some countries in the Asia/Pacific region, may offer little or no protection for our proprietary technologies; and

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reports we file in connection with government-sponsored research contracts are generally available to the public and third parties may obtain some aspects of our sensitive confidential information.

Reverse engineering, unauthorized copying or other misappropriation of our proprietary technologies could enable third parties to benefit from our technologies without compensating us for doing so. Any inability to adequately protect our proprietary rights could harm our ability to compete, to generate revenue and to grow our business.

We may not obtain sufficient patent protection on the technology embodied in the solar products we currently manufacture and market, which could harm our competitive position and increase our expenses.

Although we substantially rely on trade secret laws and contractual restrictions to protect the technology in the solar products we currently manufacture and market, our success and ability to compete in the future may also depend to a significant degree upon obtaining patent protection for our proprietary technology. We currently own multiple patents and patent applications which cover aspects of the technology in the solar cells and mounting systems that we currently manufacture and market. Material patents that relate to our systems products and services primarily relate to our rooftop mounting products and ground-mounted tracking products. We intend to continue to seek patent protection for those aspects of our technology, designs, and methodologies and processes that we believe provide significant competitive advantages.

Our patent applications may not result in issued patents, and even if they result in issued patents, the patents may not have claims of the scope we seek or we may have to refile patent applications due to newly discovered prior art. In addition, any issued patents may be challenged, invalidated or declared unenforceable, or even if we obtain an award of damages for infringement by a third party, such award could prove insufficient to compensate for all damages incurred as a result of such infringement. The term of any issued patents would be 20 years from their filing date and if our applications are pending for a long time period, we may have a correspondingly shorter term for any patent that may issue. Our present and future patents may provide only limited protection for our technology and may not be sufficient to provide competitive advantages to us. For example, competitors could develop similar or more advantageous technologies on their own or design around our patents. Also, patent protection in certain foreign countries may not be available or may be limited in scope and any patents obtained may not be as readily enforceable as in the United States, making it difficult for us to effectively protect our intellectual

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property from misuse or infringement by other companies in these countries. Our inability to obtain and enforce our intellectual property rights in some countries may harm our business. In addition, given the costs of obtaining patent protection, we may choose not to protect certain innovations that later turn out to be important.

We may not be able to prevent others from using the term SunPower or similar terms in connection with their solar power products which could adversely affect the market recognition of our name and our revenue.

"SunPower" is our registered trademark in certain countries, including the United States, for uses that include solar cells and solar panels. We are seeking registration of the "SunPower" trademark in other countries but we may not be successful in some of these jurisdictions. We hold registered trademarks for SunPower®, PowerGuard®, PowerTracker® and SunTile®, in certain countries, including the United States. We have not registered, and may not be able to register, these trademarks in other key countries. In the foreign jurisdictions where we are unable to obtain or have not tried to obtain registrations, others may be able to sell their products using trademarks compromising or incorporating "SunPower," or a variation thereof, or our other chosen brands, which could lead to customer confusion. In addition, if there are jurisdictions where another proprietor has already established trademark rights in marks containing "SunPower," or our other chosen brands, we may face trademark disputes and may have to market our products with other trademarks or without our trademarks, which may undermine our marketing efforts. We may encounter trademark disputes with companies using marks which are confusingly similar to the SunPower mark, or our other marks, which if not resolved favorably, could cause our branding efforts to suffer. In addition, we may have difficulty in establishing strong brand recognition with consumers if others use similar marks for similar products.
 
Our past reliance on government programs to partially fund our research and development programs could impair our ability to commercialize our solar power products and services.

Government funding of some of our research and development efforts imposed certain restrictions on our ability to commercialize results and could grant commercialization rights to the government. In some funding awards, the government is entitled to intellectual property rights arising from the related research. Such rights include a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practiced each subject invention developed under an award throughout the world by or on behalf of the government. Other rights include the right to require us to grant a license to the developed technology or products to a third party or, in some cases, if we refuse, the government may grant the license itself, if the government determines that action is necessary because we fail to achieve practical application of the technology, because action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs, to meet requirements of federal regulations, or to give the United States industry preference. Accepting government funding can also require that manufacturing of products developed with federal funding be conducted in the United States.

Risks Related to Our Debt and Equity Securities

Total's majority ownership of our common stock may adversely affect the liquidity and value of our common stock.

As of January 31, 2012, Total owned approximately 66% of our outstanding common stock. Pursuant to the Affiliation Agreement between us and Total, the Board of Directors of SunPower includes six designees from Total, giving Total majority control of our Board. As a result, subject to the restrictions in the Affiliation Agreement, Total possesses significant influence and control over our affairs. Our non-Total stockholders have reduced ownership and voting interest in our company and, as a result, have less influence over the management and policies of our company than they exercised prior to Total's tender offer. As long as Total controls us, the ability of our other stockholders to influence matters requiring stockholder approval is limited. Total's stock ownership and relationships with members of our Board of Directors could have the effect of preventing minority stockholders from exercising significant control over our affairs, delaying or preventing a future change in control, impeding a merger, consolidation, takeover or other business combination or discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us, limiting our financing options. These factors in turn could adversely affect the market price of our common stock or prevent our stockholders from realizing a premium over the market price of our common stock. The Affiliation Agreement limits Total and any member of the Total affiliated companies ("Total Group") from effecting, seeking, or entering into discussions with any third party regarding any transaction that would result in the Total Group beneficially owning our shares in excess of certain thresholds during a standstill period. The Affiliation Agreement also imposes certain limitations on the Total Group's ability to seek to affect a tender offer or merger to acquire 100% of our outstanding voting power. Such provisions may not be successful in preventing the Total Group from engaging in transactions which further increase their ownership and negatively impact the price of our common stock. In connection with our acquisition of Tenesol and our entry into the Liquidity Support Facility, we agreed to exempt the shares issued in connection with those transactions from the ownership limitations imposed by the Affiliation Agreement, so that Total may own up to the stated limits plus any such shares. In return for providing certain guarantees or other support, as was the case with the Liquidity Support Agreement, Total may request additional equity to be issued to it or its affiliates, or it may convert previously

41


issued convertible debt into equity or exercise previously granted warrants, potentially at a discount or at a smaller premium than our other stockholders would prefer, which may lead to additional dilution to our stockholders. Due to the pricing of the equity compensation elements of the Liquidity Support Facility, the degree of dilution to our other stockholders will tend to increase to the extent that we require more support and to the extent that our stock price decreases. See also "Risks Related to Our Liquidity--Due to the general economic environment, the continued market pressure driving down the average selling prices of our solar power products, and other factors, we may be unable to generate sufficient cash flows or obtain access to external financing necessary to fund our operations and make adequate capital investments as planned." Finally, the market for our common stock has become less liquid and more thinly traded as a result of the Total tender offer. The lower number of shares available to be traded could result in greater volatility in the price of our common stock and affect our ability to raise capital on favorable terms in the capital markets.
 
Conversion of our outstanding 4.75% debentures, our warrants related to our outstanding 4.50% and 4.75% debentures, and future substantial issuances or dispositions of our common stock or other securities, could dilute ownership and earnings per share or cause the market price of our stock to decrease.
 
To the extent we issue common stock upon conversion of our outstanding 4.75% debentures, the conversion of some or all of such debentures will dilute the ownership interests of existing stockholders, including holders who had previously converted their debentures. Any sales in the public market of the common stock issuable upon such conversion could adversely affect prevailing market prices of our common stock. Sales of our common stock in the public market or sales of any of our other securities could dilute ownership and earnings per share, and even the perception that such sales could occur could cause the market prices of our common stock to decline. In addition, the existence of our outstanding debentures may encourage short selling of our common stock by market participants who expect that the conversion of the debentures could depress the prices of our common stock.
 
We issued warrants to affiliates of the underwriters of our 4.50% and 4.75% debentures, which are exercisable for a total of approximately 11.1 million shares and 8.7 million shares of our common stock, respectively. The warrants, together with certain convertible hedge transactions, are meant to reduce our exposure upon potential conversion of our 4.50% and 4.75% debentures. If the market price of our common stock exceeds the respective exercise prices of the warrants, such warrants will have a dilutive effect on our earnings per share, and could dilute the ownership interests for existing stockholders if exercised.
 
The price of our common stock, and therefore of our outstanding 0.75%, 4.50%, and 4.75% debentures, may fluctuate significantly.
 
Our common stock has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. The trading price of our common stock could be subject to further wide fluctuations due to many factors, including the factors discussed in this risk factors section. In addition, the stock market in general, and the Nasdaq Global Select Market and the securities of technology companies and solar companies in particular, have experienced severe price and volume fluctuations. These trading prices and valuations, including our own market valuation and those of companies in our industry generally, may not be sustainable. These broad market and industry factors may decrease the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. Because the 0.75%, 4.50%, and 4.75% debentures are convertible into our common stock (and/or cash equivalent to the value of our common stock), volatility or depressed prices of our common stock could have a similar effect on the trading price of these debentures.
 
Delaware law and our certificate of incorporation and by-laws contain anti-takeover provisions, our outstanding 0.75%, 4.50%, and 4.75% debentures provide for a right to convert upon certain events, and our Board of Directors entered into a rights agreement and declared a rights dividend, any of which could delay or discourage takeover attempts that stockholders may consider favorable.
 
Provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and by-laws may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. These provisions include the following:

Ÿ
the right of the Board of Directors to elect a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the Board of Directors;

Ÿ
the prohibition of cumulative voting in the election of directors, which would otherwise allow less than a majority of stockholders to elect director candidates;

Ÿ
the requirement for advance notice for nominations for election to the Board of Directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon at a stockholders' meeting;

42



Ÿ
the ability of the Board of Directors to issue, without stockholder approval, up to 10.0 million shares of preferred stock with terms set by the Board of Directors, which rights could be senior to those of common stock;

Ÿ
our Board of Directors is divided into three classes of directors, with the classes to be as nearly equal in number as possible;

Ÿ
stockholders may not call special meetings of the stockholders, except by Total under limited circumstances;

Ÿ
 our Board of Directors is able to alter our by-laws without obtaining stockholder approval.

Certain provisions of our outstanding debentures could make it more difficult or more expensive for a third party to acquire us. Upon the occurrence of certain transactions constituting a fundamental change, including an entity becoming the beneficial owner of 75% of our voting stock (such as Total), holders of our outstanding debentures will have the right, at their option, to require us to repurchase, at a cash repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest on the debentures, all or a portion of their debentures. We may also be required to issue additional shares of our common stock upon conversion of such debentures in the event of certain fundamental changes. In addition, we entered into a Rights Agreement with Computershare Trust Company, N.A., commonly referred to as a "poison pill," which could delay or discourage takeover attempts that stockholders may consider favorable.

ITEM 1B: UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.


ITEM 2: PROPERTIES

Prior to May 2011, we leased our corporate headquarters, which occupied approximately 60,000 square feet in San Jose, California, under a lease from Cypress until its expiration in April 2011. In May 2011 we moved to our new corporate headquarters in San Jose, California which occupies approximately 186,000 square feet under a lease from an unaffiliated third-party that expires in April 2021. In Richmond, California, we occupy approximately 207,000 square feet for office, light industrial and research and development use under a lease from an unaffiliated third party that expires in December 2018. In addition to these facilities, we also have our European headquarters located in Geneva, Switzerland where we occupy approximately 4,000 square feet under a lease that expires in September 2012, as well as sales and support offices in Southern California, Texas, New Jersey, Oregon, Australia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Spain, and South Korea, all of which are leased from unaffiliated third parties.

We leased from Cypress an approximately 215,000 square foot building in the Philippines from fiscal 2003 through April 2008, which serves as FAB1 with four solar cell manufacturing lines in operation. In May 2008, we purchased FAB1 from Cypress and assumed the lease for the land from an unaffiliated third-party for a total purchase price of $9.5 million. The lease for the land expires in May 2048 and is renewable for an additional 25 years. In August 2006, we purchased a 344,000 square foot building in the Philippines which serves as FAB2 with twelve solar cell manufacturing lines in operation. Our four solar cell manufacturing lines and twelve solar cell manufacturing lines operating at FAB1 and FAB2, respectively, have a total rated annual solar cell manufacturing capacity of 700 MW.

In January 2008, we completed the construction of an approximately 175,000 square foot building in the Philippines which serves as our solar panel assembly facility that currently operates fourteen solar panel assembly lines with a total rated annual solar panel manufacturing capacity of 600 MW. In August 2011, we leased an additional facility in Mexicali, Mexico from an unaffiliated third-party that expires in August 2021 and additionally serves as a solar panel assembly facility that currently operates 2 solar panel assembly lines. When fully online, the Mexico facility will house twelve solar panel assembly lines with an expected total annual manufacturing capacity of approximately 500 MW.

As a result of the January 31, 2012 acquisition of Tenesol, a global solar provider headquartered in La Tour de Salvagny, France, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Total, we acquired module manufacturing operations in Toulouse, France and Capetown, South Africa with a total annual manufacturing capacity of approximately 170 MW.

We may require additional space in the future, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or in the location we desire.


43


Because of the interrelation of our business segments, both the UPP Segment and R&C Segment use substantially all of the properties at least in part, and we retain the flexibility to use each of the properties in whole or in part for each of the segments. Therefore, we do not identify or allocate assets by business segment. For more information on property, plant and equipment by country, see Note 6 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II - "Item 8: Financial Statements and Supplemental Data."

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Three securities class action lawsuits were filed against the Company and certain of its current and former officers and directors in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of a class consisting of those who acquired the Company's securities from April 17, 2008 through November 16, 2009. The cases were consolidated as In re SunPower Securities Litigation, Case No. CV-09-5473-RS (N.D. Cal.), and lead plaintiffs and lead counsel were appointed on March 5, 2010. Lead plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint on May 28, 2010. The actions arise from the Audit Committee's investigation announcement on November 16, 2009 regarding certain unsubstantiated accounting entries. The consolidated complaint alleges that the defendants made material misstatements and omissions concerning the Company's financial results for 2008 and 2009, seeks an unspecified amount of damages, and alleges violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933. The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to these allegations and will vigorously defend itself in these matters. The court held a hearing on the defendants' motions to dismiss the consolidated complaint on November 4, 2010. The court dismissed the consolidated complaint with leave to amend on March 1, 2011. An amended complaint was filed on April 18, 2011. The amended complaint added two former employees as defendants. Defendants filed motions to dismiss the amended complaint on May 23, 2011. The motions to dismiss the amended complaint were heard by the court on August 11, 2011. On December 19, 2011, the court granted in part and denied in part the motions to dismiss, dismissing the claims brought pursuant to sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and the claims brought against the two newly added former employees. The Company is currently unable to determine if the resolution of these matters will have an adverse effect on the Company's financial position, liquidity or results of operations.

Derivative actions purporting to be brought on the Company's behalf have also been filed in state and federal courts against several of the Company's current and former officers and directors based on the same events alleged in the securities class action lawsuits described above. The California state derivative cases were consolidated as In re SunPower Corp. S'holder Derivative Litig., Lead Case No. 1-09-CV-158522 (Santa Clara Sup. Ct.), and co-lead counsel for plaintiffs have been appointed. The complaints assert state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, unjust enrichment, gross mismanagement, and waste of corporate assets. Plaintiffs are scheduled to file a consolidated complaint on March 5, 2012. The federal derivative complaints were consolidated as In re SunPower Corp. S'holder Derivative Litig., Master File No. CV-09-05731-RS (N.D. Cal.), and lead plaintiffs and co-lead counsel were appointed on January 4, 2010. The federal complaints assert state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, and unjust enrichment, and seek an unspecified amount of damages. Plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint on May 13, 2011, in the Delaware Court of Chancery. A Delaware state derivative case, Brenner v. Albrecht, et al., C.A. No. 6514-VCP (Del Ch.), was filed on May 23, 2011. The complaint asserts state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty and contribution and indemnification, and seeks an unspecified amount of damages. The Company intends to oppose all the derivative plaintiffs' efforts to pursue this litigation on the Company's behalf. Defendants moved to stay or dismiss the Delaware derivative action on July 5, 2011. The motion to stay was heard by the court on October 27, 2011, and on January 27, 2012 the court granted the Company's motion and stayed the case indefinitely subject to plaintiff seeking to lift the stay under specified conditions. The Company is currently unable to determine if the resolution of these matters will have an adverse effect on the Company's financial position, liquidity or results of operations.

The Company is also a party to various other litigation matters and claims that arise from time to time in the ordinary course of our business. While the Company believes that the ultimate outcome of such matters will not have a material adverse effect on it, their outcomes are not determinable and negative outcomes may adversely affect its financial position, liquidity or results of operations.

ITEM 4: MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.


44



PART II


ITEM 5: MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Prior to November 17, 2011, our former class A and class B common stock was listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbols "SPWRA" and "SPWRB," respectively. On November 15, 2011, our Stockholders approved reclassification of all outstanding shares of our former class A and class B common stock into a single class of common stock. Therefore, effective November 17, 2011, our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbol "SPWR".

The high and low trading prices of our common stock during fiscal 2011 and 2010 were as follows:
 
 
SPWR
 
SPWRA
 
SPWRB
 
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
Fiscal Year 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth quarter: November 17, 2011 through January 1, 2012
 
$
8.60

 
$
4.94

 
*

 
*

 
*

 
*

Fourth quarter: October 3, 2011 through November 16, 2011
 
*

 
*

 
$
10.88

 
$
6.61

 
$
10.12

 
$
5.99

Third quarter
 
*

 
*

 
$
23.35

 
$
8.06

 
$
17.72

 
$
7.35

Second quarter
 
*

 
*

 
$
22.60

 
$
14.87

 
$
22.10

 
$
14.65

First quarter
 
*

 
*

 
$
19.88

 
$
12.90

 
$
19.45

 
$
12.47

Fiscal Year 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Fourth quarter
 
*

 
*

 
$
14.52

 
$
11.65

 
$
14.00

 
$
11.48

Third quarter
 
*

 
*

 
$
14.49

 
$
10.03

 
$
13.86

 
$
9.66

Second quarter
 
*

 
*

 
$
19.29

 
$
10.73

 
$
17.11

 
$
9.41

First quarter
 
*

 
*

 
$
25.85

 
$
18.02

 
$
23.04

 
$
15.89


* Not applicable due to class of SunPower stock outstanding and trading during that period.

As of February 24, 2012, there were approximately 973 record holders. A substantially greater number of holders are in "street name" or beneficial holders, whose shares are held of record by banks, brokers, and other financial institutions.

Dividends

We have never declared or paid any cash dividend on our common stock, and we do not currently intend to pay any cash dividend on our common stock in the foreseeable future. We intend to retain future earnings, if any, to finance the operation and expansion of our business.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table sets forth all purchases made by or on behalf of us or any "affiliated purchaser," as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, of shares of our common stock during each of the indicated periods.


45


Period
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased (1)
 
Average Price
Paid Per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Maximum Number of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
October 3, 2011 through October 30, 2011
 
415

 
$
7.96

 

 

October 31, 2011 through November 27, 2011
 
157,710

 
$
8.02

 

 

November 28, 2011 through January 1, 2012
 
3,747

 
$
6.73

 

 

 
 
161,872

 
$
7.99

 

 


(1)
The total number of shares purchased includes only shares surrendered to satisfy tax withholding obligations in connection with the vesting of restricted stock issued to employees.

Equity Compensation Plan Information

The following table provides certain information as of January 1, 2012 with respect to our equity compensation plans under which shares of our common stock are authorized for issuance:
Plan Category
 
Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights
(in thousands)
 
 
 
Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights
 
Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in the first column) (in thousands)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders
 
416

 
 
 
$
27.38

 
3,293

Equity compensation shares not approved by security holders
 

 
 
 
$

 

 
 
416

 
(1
)
 
$
27.38

 
3,293


(1)
Shares associated with our warrants outstanding in connection with our 4.50% debentures are excluded from the above table as the exercise price exceeded our closing stock as of January 1, 2012. This table additionally excludes options to purchase an aggregate of approximately 68,000 shares of common stock, at a weighted average exercise price of $21.74 per share, that we assumed in connection with the acquisition of PowerLight Corporation, now known as SunPower Corporation, Systems, in January 2007. Under the terms of our three equity incentive plans, we may issue incentive or non-statutory stock options, restricted stock awards, restricted stock units, or stock purchase rights to directors, employees and consultants to purchase common stock. Our Third Amended and Restated SunPower Corporation 2005 Stock Incentive Plan includes an automatic share reserve increase feature effective for 2009 through 2015. This share reserve increase feature will cause an annual and automatic increase in the number of shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under the Stock Incentive Plan in an amount each year equal to the least of: 3% of the outstanding shares of all classes of our common stock measured on the last day of the immediately preceding fiscal year; 6,000,000 shares; and such other number of shares as determined by our Board.

ITEM 6: SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read together with "Item 7:  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Item 8: Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We report our results of operations on the basis of 52- or 53-week periods, ending on the Sunday closest to December 31. Fiscal 2007 ended on December 30, 2007, fiscal 2008 ended on December 28, 2008, fiscal 2009 ended on January 3, 2010, fiscal 2010 ended on January 2, 2011, and fiscal 2011 ended on

46


January 1, 2012. Each fiscal year included 52 weeks, except fiscal 2009 which included 53 weeks. Our fiscal quarters end on the Sunday closest to the end of the applicable calendar quarter, except in a 53-week fiscal year in which the additional week falls into the fourth quarter of that fiscal year.

 
 
Year Ended
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
 
December 28,2008
 
December 30, 2007
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
 
$
2,312,494

 
$
2,219,230

 
$
1,524,283

 
$
1,437,594

 
$
774,790

Cost of revenue
 
2,084,290

 
1,709,337

 
1,240,563

 
1,087,973

 
627,039

Gross margin
 
228,204

 
509,893

 
283,720

 
349,621

 
147,751

Operating income (loss)
 
(520,451
)
 
138,867

 
61,834

 
154,407

 
2,289

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes and equity in earnings of unconsolidated investees
 
(587,763
)
 
183,413

 
43,620

 
(97,904
)
 
6,095

Income (loss) from continuing operations
 
$
(603,859
)
 
$
166,883

 
$
32,521

 
$
(124,445
)
 
$
27,901

Income (loss) from continuing operations per share of common stock:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Basic
 
$
(6.18
)
 
$
1.74

 
$
0.36

 
$
(1.55
)
 
$
0.36

Diluted
 
$
(6.18
)
 
$
1.64

 
$
0.35

 
$
(1.55
)
 
$
0.34

Weighted-average shares:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
97,724

 
95,660

 
91,050

 
80,522

 
75,413

Diluted
 
97,724

 
105,698

 
92,746

 
80,522

 
80,439


(In thousands)
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
 
December 28,2008
 
December 30, 2007
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and cash equivalents, current portion and short-term investments
 
$
710,213

 
$
761,602

 
$
677,919

 
$
232,750

 
$
390,667

Working capital
 
1,037,688

 
1,005,492

 
747,335

 
420,067

 
206,167

Total assets
 
3,275,197

 
3,379,331

 
2,696,895

 
2,084,257

 
1,673,305

Long-term debt
 
355,000

 
50,000

 
237,703

 
54,598

 

Convertible debt, net of current portion
 
423,268

 
591,923

 
398,606

 
357,173

 
333,210

Long-term deferred tax liabilities
 

 

 
6,777

 
6,493

 
45,512

Customer advances, net of current portion
 
181,947

 
160,485

 
72,288

 
91,359

 
60,153

Other long-term liabilities
 
152,492

 
131,132

 
70,045

 
44,222

 
14,975

Total stockholders' equity
 
$
1,097,510

 
$
1,657,434

 
$
1,376,380

 
$
1,100,198

 
$
947,296


ITEM 7: MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

General Overview

We are a vertically integrated solar products and services company that designs, manufactures, and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers. Of all the solar cells available for the mass market, we believe our solar cells have the highest conversion efficiency, a measurement of the amount of sunlight converted by the solar cell into electricity.

We were originally incorporated in California in April 1985 by Dr. Richard Swanson to develop and commercialize high-efficiency solar cell technologies. Cypress Semiconductor Corporation ("Cypress") made a significant investment in

47


SunPower in 2002 and in November 2004, Cypress acquired 100% ownership of all outstanding shares of our capital stock, excluding unexercised warrants and options. In November 2005, we reincorporated in Delaware, created two classes of common stock and held an initial public offering ("IPO") of our former class A common stock. After completion of our IPO, Cypress held all the outstanding shares of our former class B common stock. On September 29, 2008, Cypress distributed to its shareholders all of its shares of our former class B common stock, in the form of a pro rata dividend to the holders of record as of September 17, 2008 of Cypress common stock. As a result, our former class B common stock became publicly traded and listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "SPWRB," along with our former class A common stock under the symbol "SPWRA," and we discontinued being a subsidiary of Cypress. On April 28, 2011, we and Total Gas & Power USA, SAS ("Total"), a subsidiary of Total S.A. ("Total S.A."), entered into a Tender Offer Agreement (the "Tender Offer Agreement"). Pursuant to the Tender Offer Agreement, on May 3, 2011, Total commenced a cash tender offer to acquire up to 60% of the outstanding shares of our former class A common stock and up to 60% of the outstanding shares of our former class B common stock (the "Tender Offer") at a price of $23.25 per share for each class.

The offer expired on June 14, 2011 and Total accepted for payment on June 21, 2011 a total of 34,756,682 shares of our former class A common stock and 25,220,000 shares of our former class B common stock, representing 60% of each class of our outstanding common stock as of June 13, 2011 for a total cost of approximately $1.4 billion. On November 15, 2011, our stockholders approved the reclassification of all outstanding former class A common stock and class B common stock into a single class of common stock listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "SPWR." On January 31, 2012, in connection with the acquisition of Tenesol S.A., Total purchased an additional 18.6 million shares of our common stock and owns, as of that date, approximately 66% of our outstanding common stock (see Note 18).

Business Segments Overview

Our President and Chief Executive Officer, as the chief operating decision maker ("CODM"), has organized our company and manages resource allocations and measures performance of our company's activities between two business segments: the Utility and Power Plants ("UPP") Segment and the Residential and Commercial ("R&C") Segment. Our UPP Segment refers to our large-scale solar products and systems business, which includes power plant project development and project sales, turn-key engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") services for power plant construction, and power plant operations and maintenance ("O&M") services. Our UPP Segment also sells components, including large volume sales of solar panels and mounting systems to third parties, sometimes on a multi-year, firm commitment basis. Our R&C Segment focuses on solar equipment sales into the residential and small commercial market through our third-party global dealer network, as well as direct sales and EPC and O&M services in the United States and Europe for rooftop and ground-mounted solar power systems for the new homes, commercial, and public sectors.

Change in Segment Reporting

In December 2011, we announced a reorganization of our Company to align our business and cost structure with expected market conditions in 2012 and beyond. The reorganization did not impact segment reporting in fiscal 2011 as our CODM continues to manage resource allocations and measure performance of our activities between the UPP and R&C Segments while we are implementing our new organizational strategy. We are in the process of determining our new segments and making decisions internally on how we will manage the new segments, allocate resources, and assess performance.

Seasonal Trends

Our business is subject to industry-specific seasonal fluctuations. Sales have historically reflected these seasonal trends with the largest percentage of total revenues realized during the last two calendar quarters of a fiscal year. Lower seasonal demand normally results in reduced shipments and revenues in the first two calendar quarters of a fiscal year. There are various reasons for this seasonality, mostly related to economic incentives and weather patterns. For example, in European countries with feed-in tariffs, the construction of solar power systems may be concentrated during the second half of the calendar year, largely due to the fact that the coldest winter months in the Northern Hemisphere are January through March. In the United States, customers will sometimes make purchasing decisions towards the end of the year in order to take advantage of tax credits or for other budgetary reasons. In addition, sales in the new home development market are often tied to construction market demands which tend to follow national trends in construction, including declining sales during cold weather months.

Unit of Power

When referring to our facilities’ manufacturing capacity, total sales and components sales, the unit of electricity in watts for kilowatts ("KW"), megawatts ("MW") and gigawatts ("GW") is direct current ("dc"). When referring to our solar power systems, the unit of electricity in watts for KW, MW, and GW is alternating current ("ac").

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Levelized Cost of Energy ("LCOE")

The LCOE equation is an evaluation of the life-cycle energy cost and life-cycle energy production of an energy producing system. It allows alternative technologies to be compared when different scales of operation, investment, or operating time periods exist. It captures capital costs and ongoing system-related costs, along with the amount of electricity produced, and converts them into a common metric. Key drivers for LCOE reduction for photovoltaic products include panel efficiency, capacity factors, reliable system performance, and the life of the system.

Fiscal Years

We report our results of operations on the basis of 52- or 53-week periods, ending on the Sunday closest to December 31. Fiscal 2009 ended on January 3, 2010, fiscal 2010 ended on January 2, 2011, and fiscal 2011 ended on January 1, 2012. Each fiscal year included 52 weeks, except fiscal 2009 which included 53 weeks. Our fiscal quarters end on the Sunday closest to the end of the applicable calendar quarter, except in a 53-week fiscal year in which the additional week falls into the fourth quarter of that fiscal year.    

Change in Solar Market

In March 2011, the Italian government passed a new legislative decree providing for a significant change in its feed-in tariff ("FIT") program. In May 2011, the Italian government announced a legislative decree which defined the revised FIT and the transition process effective June 1, 2011. The decree announced a decline in FIT and also set forth a limit on the construction of solar plants on agricultural land. Similarly, during the last several months other European countries reduced government incentives for the solar market. Such changes had a materially negative effect on the market for solar systems in Europe and caused our earnings to decline in Europe and adversely affected our financial results. In response to the reduction in European government incentives, primarily in Italy, our Board of Directors approved a restructuring plan, on June 13, 2011, to realign our resources. Further, to accelerate operating cost reduction and improve overall operating efficiency, on November 30, 2011, our management approved a second company-wide restructuring plan. These plans and related charges are further discussed below under "Results of Operations."

Goodwill and Other Intangible Asset Impairment

We conduct our annual impairment test of goodwill as of the Sunday closest to the end of the third fiscal quarter of each year. Impairment of goodwill is tested at our reporting unit level. Management determined the UPP Segment and R&C Segment each have two reporting units. In estimating the fair value of the reporting units, we make estimates and judgments about our future cash flows using an income approach defined as Level 3 inputs under fair value measurement standards. The income approach, specifically a discounted cash flow analysis, included assumptions for, among others, forecasted revenue, gross margin, operating income, working capital cash flow, perpetual growth rates and long-term discount rates, all of which require significant judgment by management. The sum of the fair values of our reporting units are also compared to our external market capitalization to determine the appropriateness of our assumptions and adjusted, if appropriate. These assumptions took into account the current industry environment and its impact on our business. Based on the impairment test performed in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, we determined that the carrying value of the UPP-International, UPP-Americas, and Residential and Light Commercial reporting units exceeded their fair value. As a result, we recorded a goodwill impairment loss of $309.5 million, representing all of the goodwill associated with these reporting units. As of January 1, 2012, the fair value of the remaining reporting unit, North American Commercial, exceeded the carrying value under the first step of the goodwill impairment test. Therefore, goodwill was not impaired with respect to this reporting unit.

We additionally review our intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. Triggering events for an impairment review may include indications such as adverse industry or economic trends, lower than projected operation results or cash flows, or sustained decline in our stock price or market capitalization. During the third quarter of fiscal 2011, we determined that the carrying value of certain intangible assets related to strategic acquisitions of EPC and O&M project pipelines in Europe were no longer recoverable and therefore recognized an impairment loss of $40.3 million in fiscal 2011.

2012 Outlook

During fiscal 2011 we saw a decline in overall demand for solar systems primarily in Europe as a result of the decline in European government incentives as described above. The resulting supply environment drove down average selling prices across all product and service lines. Such pricing pressures are expected to continue throughout fiscal 2012.

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In 2012 we continue to be focused on reducing the cost of our solar panels and systems. We expect our R&D activities to increase as we emphasize continued improvement of our solar cell efficiency and LCOE performance through enhancement of our existing products, development of new products and reduction of manufacturing cost and complexity in conjunction with our overall cost-control strategies. We are further working with our suppliers and partners along all steps of the value chain to reduce costs by improving manufacturing technologies and expanding economies of scale.

We plan to continue to expand our business in growing and sustainable markets. In fiscal 2011 we launched our residential lease program with our dealers in the United States, in partnership with a third-party financial institution, which allows customers to obtain SunPower systems under lease agreements up to 20 years, subject to financing availability. We announced the first commercial deployment of our SunPower® C-7 Tracker technology under a power purchase agreement ("PPA") and commenced production of our next generation solar cell with demonstrated efficiencies of up to 24%. Our acquisition of Tenesol S.A. ("Tenesol") in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 has further expanded our European and global customer channels as well as added a strong manufacturing based in both Europe and Africa. Please see "Part I. Item 1A: Risk Factors" for additional information on risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from management's plans and outlook for 2012.

Financial Operations Overview

The following describes certain line items in our Consolidated Statements of Operations:

Revenue

UPP Segment Revenue: Our UPP Segment refers to our large-scale solar products and systems business, which includes power plant project development and project sales, turn-key EPC services for power plant construction, and power plant O&M services. The UPP Segment sells components, including large volume sales of solar panels and mounting systems to third parties, sometimes on a multi-year, firm commitment basis, in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

R&C Segment Revenue: Our R&C Segment focuses on solar equipment sales into the residential and small commercial market through our third-party global dealer network, as well as direct sales and EPC and O&M services in the United States for rooftop and ground-mounted solar power systems for the new homes, commercial, and public sectors.

Other Revenue Factors: Sales of EPC projects and other services relate to solar electric power systems that integrate our solar panels and balance of systems components. In the United States, where customers often utilize rebate and tax credit programs in connection with projects rated 1 MW or less of capacity, we typically sell solar power systems rated up to 1 MW of capacity to provide a supplemental, distributed source of electricity for a customer’s facility as well as ground mount systems reaching up to hundreds of MWs for regulated utilities. In the United States, many customers choose to purchase solar electricity under a PPA with an investor or financing company which buys the system from us. In Europe and the United States, our systems are often purchased by third-party investors as central-station solar power plants, typically rated from 1 to 50 MW, which generate electricity for sale under tariff to regional and public utilities. We also sell our solar panels and balance of systems components under materials-only sales contracts in the United States, Europe and Asia. Our revenue recognition policy is described in more detail under "Critical Accounting Estimates."

Cost of Revenue

Our cost of revenue will fluctuate from period to period due to the mix of projects completed and recognized as revenue, in particular between large utility projects and large commercial installation projects. The cost of solar panels is the single largest cost element in our cost of revenue. Our cost of solar panels consists primarily of: (i) polysilicon, silicon ingots and wafers used in the production of solar cells, along with other materials such as chemicals and gas that are needed to transform silicon wafers into solar cells; (ii) raw materials such as glass, frame, backing and other materials; (iii) solar cells from our AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd. ("AUOSP") joint venture; as well as (iv) direct labor costs and assembly costs we pay to our third-party contract manufacturers in China, Mexico, Poland, and California. Other cost of revenue associated with the construction of solar power systems includes real estate, mounting systems, inverters and third-party contract manufacturer costs. In addition, other factors contributing to cost of revenue include amortization of other intangible assets, stock-based compensation, depreciation, provisions for estimated warranty claims, salaries, personnel-related costs, freight, royalties, facilities expenses, and manufacturing supplies associated with contracting revenue and solar cell fabrication as well as factory pre-operating costs associated with our manufacturing facilities. Such pre-operating costs included compensation and training costs for factory workers as well as utilities and consumable materials associated with preproduction activities.


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We are targeting to improve cost of revenue over time as we implement cost reduction programs, improve our manufacturing processes, and grow our business to attain economies of scale on fixed costs. An expected reduction in cost of revenue based on manufacturing efficiencies, however, could be partially or completely offset by increased raw material costs.

Gross Margin

Our gross margin each quarter is affected by a number of factors, including average selling prices for our solar power products, the types of projects in progress, the gross margins estimated for those projects in progress, our product mix, our actual manufacturing costs, the utilization rate of our solar cell manufacturing facilities, and actual overhead costs. Historically, revenue from materials-only sales contracts generate a higher gross margin percentage than revenue generated from turn-key solar power system contracts. Turn-key contracts generate higher revenue per watt as a result of the included EPC services, O&M services as well as power plant project development. In addition, we generally experience higher gross margin on construction projects that utilize SunPower solar panels compared to construction projects that utilize solar panels purchased from third parties.

From time to time, we enter into agreements whereby the selling price for certain of our solar power products is fixed over a defined period. In addition, almost all of our construction contracts are fixed price contracts. However, we have in several instances obtained change orders that reimburse us for additional unexpected costs due to various reasons. We also have long-term agreements for polysilicon, ingots, wafers, solar cells and solar panels with suppliers, some with take-or-pay arrangements. An increase in our manufacturing costs and other project costs over such a defined period could have a negative impact on our overall gross margin. Our gross margin may also be impacted by fluctuations in manufacturing yield rates and certain adjustments for inventory reserves. Our inventory policy is described in more detail under "Critical Accounting Estimates."

Operating Expenses
    
Our operating expenses include research and development ("R&D") expenses and sales, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses. R&D expenses consist primarily of salaries and related personnel costs, depreciation of equipment and the cost of solar cells, solar panel materials, various prototyping materials, and services used for the development and testing of products. We expect our R&D expense to continually increase in absolute dollars as we continue to develop new processes to further improve the conversion efficiency of our solar cells and reduce their manufacturing cost, and as we develop new products to diversify our product offerings.

R&D expense is reported net of any funding received under contracts with governmental agencies because such contracts are considered collaborative arrangements. These awards are typically structured such that only direct costs, R&D overhead, procurement overhead, and general and administrative expenses that satisfy government accounting regulations are reimbursed. In addition, our government awards from state agencies will usually require us to pay to the granting governmental agency certain royalties based on sales of products developed with government funding or economic benefit derived from incremental improvements funded. Royalties paid to governmental agencies are charged to the cost of goods sold.

SG&A expense for our business consists primarily of salaries and related personnel costs, professional fees, insurance, and other selling and marketing expenses.

Goodwill and other intangible asset impairment primarily consists of impairment of goodwill as a result of our annual impairment test, performed in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, as we determined the carrying value of certain reporting units exceeded their fair value. Additionally, during the third quarter of fiscal 2011 we impaired certain intangible assets related to strategic acquisitions of EPC and O&M project pipelines in Europe as it was determined their carrying value was no longer recoverable.

Restructuring expense consists of two restructuring plans effected during fiscal 2011 in response to reductions in European government incentives, which had a significant impact on the global solar market, and to accelerate operating cost reduction to improve overall operating efficiency. Charges in connection with these plans relate to employee severance and benefits, lease termination costs, and legal and other related charges. For additional details see Note 8 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Other Income (Expense), Net

Interest income represents interest income earned on our cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents and available-for-sale securities. Interest expense primarily relates to: (i) debt under our senior convertible

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debentures; (ii) fees for our outstanding letters of credit; (iii) SunPower Malaysia Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd.'s ("SPMY") borrowings under the facility with the Malaysian government prior to the deconsolidation of this entity in the third quarter of fiscal 2010; (iv) outstanding term loans; (v) our revolving credit facilities; (vi) our mortgage loan; and (vii) customer advance payments. For additional details see Notes 7, 9, and 11 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Gain on deconsolidation of consolidated subsidiary is the result of the deconsolidation of SPMY, subsequently renamed AUOSP, in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Net gain on change in equity interest in unconsolidated investee refers to the value of our equity interests in Woongjin Energy Co., Ltd. ("Woongjin Energy") and First Philec Solar Corporation ("First Philec Solar) being adjusted upon dilutive events. Gain on sale of equity interest in unconsolidated investee represents net gains from the sale of our Woongjin Energy shares in the open market during second half of fiscal 2011. For additional details see Note 10 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Gain on mark-to-market derivatives during fiscal 2011 and 2010 relates to derivative instruments associated with our 4.50% senior cash convertible debentures ("4.50% debentures"): (i) the embedded cash conversion option; (ii) the over-allotment option; (iii) the bond hedge transaction; and (iv) the warrant transactions. The changes in fair value of these derivatives are reported in our Consolidated Statement of Operations until such transactions settle or expire. The bond hedge and warrant transactions are meant to reduce our exposure to potential cash payments associated with the embedded cash conversion option. Gain on mark-to-market derivatives during fiscal 2009 relates to the change in fair value of certain convertible debenture hedge transactions (the "purchased options") associated with the issuance of our 4.75% senior convertible debentures ("4.75% debentures") intended to reduce the potential dilution that would occur upon conversion of the debentures. For additional details see Note 11 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Gain on share lending arrangement relates to our historical share lending arrangement with Lehman Brothers International (Europe) Limited ("LBIE"). In the event that counterparty default under the share lending arrangement becomes probable, we are required to recognize an expense in our Consolidated Statement of Operations equal to the then fair value of the unreturned loaned shares, net of any probable recoveries.

Other, net consists primarily of gains or losses on foreign exchange and derivatives as well as gain on sale and impairment charges for certain available-for-sale securities and other investments.

Income Taxes

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for temporary differences between financial statement and income tax bases of assets and liabilities. Valuation allowances are provided against deferred tax assets when management cannot conclude that it is more likely than not that some portion or all deferred tax assets will be realized. For additional details see Notes 1 and 13 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

We currently benefit from income tax holiday incentives in the Philippines in accordance with our subsidiary’s registration with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority ("PEZA"), which provide that we pay no income tax in the Philippines for those operations subject to the ruling. Our current income tax holidays were granted as manufacturing lines were placed in service and thereafter expire within the next fiscal year, and we are in the process of or have applied for extensions and renewals upon expiration. We expect such approvals to be granted. We believe that if our Philippine tax holidays expire, (a) gross income attributable to activities covered by our PEZA registrations will be taxed at a 5% preferential rate, and (b) our Philippine net income attributable to all other activities will be taxed at the statutory Philippine corporate income tax rate, currently 30%. An increase in our tax liability could materially and negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We have an auxiliary company ruling in Switzerland where we sell our solar power products. The auxiliary company ruling results in a reduced effective Swiss tax rate of approximately 11.5%. The current ruling expires at the end of 2015. If the ruling is not renewed in 2015, Swiss income would be taxable at the full Swiss tax rate of approximately 24.2%.

For financial reporting purposes, during periods when we were a subsidiary of Cypress, income tax expense and deferred income tax balances were calculated as if we were a separate entity and had prepared our own separate tax return. Effective with the closing of our public offering of common stock in June 2006, we were no longer eligible to file federal and most state consolidated tax returns with Cypress. As of September 29, 2008, Cypress completed a spin-off of all of its shares of our former class B common stock to its shareholders, so we are no longer eligible to file any remaining state consolidated tax returns with Cypress. Under our tax sharing agreement with Cypress, we agreed to pay Cypress for any federal and state income tax credit or net operating loss carryforwards utilized in our federal and state tax returns in subsequent periods that originated while our results were included in Cypress’s federal tax returns.

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Equity in Earnings of Unconsolidated Investees

In the third quarter of fiscal 2006, we entered into an agreement to form Woongjin Energy, a joint venture to manufacture monocrystalline silicon ingots. Woongjin Energy is located in South Korea and began manufacturing in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, we entered into an agreement to form First Philec Solar, a joint venture to provide wafer slicing services of silicon ingots. This joint venture is located in the Philippines and became operational in the second quarter of fiscal 2008. On May 27, 2010, our subsidiaries SunPower Technology, Ltd. ("SPTL") and AUOSP, entered into a joint venture agreement with AU Optronics Singapore Pte. Ltd. ("AUO"), and AU Optronics Corporation, the ultimate parent company of AUO ("AUO Taiwan"). The joint venture transaction closed on July 5, 2010 and we, through SPTL, and AUO each own 50% of the joint venture AUOSP. AUOSP owns a solar cell manufacturing facility ("FAB3") in Malaysia and will manufacture and sell solar cells on a "cost-plus" basis to us and AUO. AUOSP became operational in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 with construction to continue through fiscal 2014. We account for these investments using the equity method, in which the equity investments are classified as "Other long-term assets" in the Consolidated Balance Sheets and our share of the investees’ earnings (loss) is included in "Equity in earnings of unconsolidated investees" in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. For additional details see Note 10 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Income from Discontinued Operations, Net of Taxes
    
In connection with our strategic acquisition of SunRay Malta Holdings Limited ("SunRay") on March 26, 2010, we acquired a project company, Cassiopea PV S.r.l ("Cassiopea"), operating a previously completed 20 MWac solar power plant in Montalto di Castro, Italy. In the period in which our asset is classified as held-for-sale, we are required to segregate for all periods presented the related assets, liabilities, and results of operations associated with that asset as discontinued operations. On August 5, 2010, we sold Cassiopea, including all related assets and liabilities. Cassiopea's results of operations for fiscal 2010 are classified as "Income from discontinued operations, net of taxes" in our Consolidated Statement of Operations. Unless otherwise stated, the discussion below pertains to our continuing operations. For additional details see Note 4 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Critical Accounting Estimates

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("U.S. GAAP"). The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. Our most critical estimates and judgments are associated with: (a) revenue recognition, which impacts the recording of revenue; (b) allowance for doubtful accounts and sales returns, which impact revenue and SG&A expense; (c) warranty reserves, which impact cost of revenue and gross margin; (d) valuation of inventories, which impacts cost of revenue and gross margin; (e) valuation of stock-based compensation expense, which impacts cost of revenue, R&D and SG&A expense; (f) equity in earnings of unconsolidated investees, which impacts net income (loss); (g) accounting for business combinations, which impacts fair value of goodwill and other intangible assets; (h) valuation of long-lived assets, which impacts impairments of property, plant and equipment, project assets and other intangible assets; (i) goodwill impairment testing, which impacts our measurement of potential impairment of our goodwill; (j) fair value of financial instruments, valuation of debt without the conversion feature and valuation of share lending arrangements, which impacts net income (loss); and (k) accounting for income taxes, which impacts our tax provision. We also have other key accounting policies that are less subjective and, therefore, judgments in their application would not have a material impact on our reported results of operations. The following is a discussion of our most critical estimates and judgments as of and for the year ended January 1, 2012.

Revenue Recognition
    
Solar Power Products
 
We sell our solar panels and balance of system components primarily to dealers, system integrators and distributors, and recognize revenue, net of accruals for estimated sales returns, when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery of the product has occurred, title and risk of loss has passed to the customer, the sales price is fixed or determinable, collectability of the resulting receivable is reasonably assured and the rights and risks of ownership have passed to the customer. Other than

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standard warranty obligations, there are no rights of return and there are no significant post-shipment obligations, including installation, training or customer acceptance clauses with any of our customers that could have an impact on revenue recognition. Our revenue recognition policy is consistent across all geographic areas.

Construction Contracts
 
Revenue is also comprised of EPC projects which are governed by customer contracts that require us to deliver functioning solar power systems and are generally completed within three to twelve months from commencement of construction. We recognize revenue from fixed price construction contracts using the percentage-of-completion method of accounting. Under this method, revenue arising from fixed price construction contracts is recognized as work is performed based on the percentage of incurred costs to estimated total forecasted costs.

Incurred costs used in our percentage-of-completion calculation include all direct material, labor, subcontract costs, and those indirect costs related to contract performance, such as indirect labor, supplies, and tools. Project material costs are included in incurred costs when the project materials have been installed by being permanently attached or fitted to the solar power system as required by the project’s engineering design.

In addition to an EPC deliverable, a limited number of arrangements also include multiple deliverables such as post-installation systems monitoring and maintenance. For contracts with separately priced monitoring and maintenance, we recognize revenue related to such separately priced elements over the contract period. For contracts including monitoring and maintenance not separately priced, we determined that post-installation systems monitoring and maintenance qualify as separate units of accounting. Such post-installation monitoring and maintenance are deferred at the time the contract is executed and are recognized to revenue over the contractual term. The remaining EPC revenue is recognized on a percentage-of-completion basis.

In addition, when arrangements include contingent revenue clauses such as penalty payments or customer termination or put rights for non-performance, we defer the contingent revenue until such time as the contingencies expire. In certain limited cases, we could be required to buy-back a customer’s system at fair value on specified future dates if certain minimum performance thresholds are not met for periods of up to two years. To date, no such repurchase obligations have been triggered. 

Provisions for estimated losses on uncompleted contracts, if any, are recognized in the period in which the loss first becomes probable and reasonably estimable. Contracts may include profit incentives such as milestone bonuses. These profit incentives are included in the contract value when their realization is reasonably assured.
 
Development Projects

We develop and sell solar power plants which generally include the sale or lease of related real estate. Revenue recognition for these solar power plants require adherence to specific guidance for real estate sales, which provides that if we hold control over land or land rights prior to the execution of an EPC contract, we recognize revenue and the corresponding costs when all of the following requirements are met: the sale is consummated, the buyer's initial and any continuing investments are adequate, the resulting receivables are not subject to subordination and we have transferred the customary risk and rewards of ownership to the buyer. In general, a sale is consummated upon the execution of an agreement documenting the terms of the sale and a minimum initial payment by the buyer to substantiate the transfer of risk to the buyer. This may require us to defer revenue during construction, even if a sale was consummated, until we receive the buyer's initial investment payment, at which time revenue would be recognized on a percentage-of-completion basis as work is completed. Our revenue recognition methods for solar power plants not involving real estate remain subject to our historical practice using the percentage-of-completion method.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts and Sales Returns

We maintain allowances for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make required payments. A considerable amount of judgment is required to assess the likelihood of the ultimate realization of accounts receivables. We make our estimates of the collectability of our accounts receivable by analyzing historical bad debts, specific customer creditworthiness and current economic trends.

In addition, at the time revenue is recognized from the sale of solar panels and balance of system components, we record estimates for sales returns which reduce revenue. These estimates are based on historical sales returns, analysis of credit memo data, and other known factors. Actual returns could differ from these estimates.

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Warranty Reserves

We generally warrant or guarantee the performance of our solar panels that we manufacture at certain levels of power output for 25 years. In addition, we pass through to customers long-term warranties from the original equipment manufacturers
("OEMs") of certain system components, such as inverters. Warranties of 25 years from solar panel suppliers are standard in the solar industry, while inverters typically carry warranty periods ranging from 5 to 10 years. In addition, we generally warrant our workmanship on installed systems for periods ranging up to 10 years. We maintain reserves to cover the expected costs that could result from these warranties. Our expected costs are generally in the form of product replacement or repair. Warranty reserves are based on our best estimate of such costs and are recognized as a cost of revenue. We continuously monitor product returns for warranty failures and maintain a reserve for the related warranty expenses based on various factors including historical warranty claims, results of accelerated lab testing, field monitoring, vendor reliability estimates, and data on industry averages for similar products. Historically, warranty costs have been within management’s expectations. For additional details see Note 9 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Valuation of Inventories

Inventories are valued at the lower of cost or market value. We evaluate the recoverability of our inventories based on assumptions about expected demand and market conditions. Our assumption of expected demand is developed based on our analysis of bookings, sales backlog, sales pipeline, market forecast and competitive intelligence. Our assumption of expected demand is compared to available inventory, production capacity, available third-party inventory and growth plans. Our factory production plans, which drive materials requirement planning, are established based on our assumptions of expected demand. We respond to reductions in expected demand by temporarily reducing manufacturing output and adjusting expected valuation assumptions as necessary. In addition, expected demand by geography has changed historically due to changes in the availability and size of government mandates and economic incentives.

We evaluate the terms of our long-term agreements with suppliers, including joint ventures, for the procurement of polysilicon, ingots, wafers, solar cells, and solar panels and establish accruals for estimated losses on adverse purchase commitments as necessary, such as lower of cost of market value adjustments, forfeiture of advanced deposits and liquidated damages.

Other market conditions that could impact the realizable value of our inventories and are periodically evaluated by management include the aging of inventories on hand, historical inventory turnover ratio, anticipated sales price, new product development schedules, the effect new products might have on the sale of existing products, product obsolescence, customer concentrations, product merchantability, and other factors. If we determine that the cost of inventories exceeds its estimated market value based on assumptions about expected demand and market conditions, we record a write-down equal to the difference between the cost of inventories and the estimated market value. If actual market conditions are less favorable than those projected by management, additional inventory write-downs may be required that could negatively impact our gross margin and operating results. If actual market conditions are more favorable, we may have higher gross margin when products that have been previously written down are sold in the normal course of business. For additional details see Note 6 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Stock-Based Compensation

We provide share-based awards to our employees, executive officers and directors through various equity compensation plans including our employee stock option and restricted stock plans. We measure and record compensation expense for all share-based payment awards based on estimated fair values. The fair value of restricted stock awards and units is based on the market price of our common stock on the date of grant. We have not granted stock options subsequent to fiscal 2008.

We are required under current accounting guidance to estimate forfeitures at the date of grant. Our estimate of forfeitures is based on our historical activity, which we believe is indicative of expected forfeitures. In subsequent periods if the actual rate of forfeitures differs from our estimate, the forfeiture rates may be revised, as necessary. Changes in the estimated forfeiture rates can have a significant effect on share-based compensation expense since the effect of adjusting the rate is recognized in the period the forfeiture estimate is changed.

We also grant performance share units to executive officers and certain employees that require us to estimate expected achievement of performance targets over the performance period. This estimate involves judgment regarding future expectations of various financial performance measures. If there are changes in our estimate of the level of financial performance measures expected to be achieved, the related share-based compensation expense may be significantly increased

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or reduced in the period that our estimate changes.

Investments in Equity Interests

Investments in entities in which we can exercise significant influence, but do not own a majority equity interest or otherwise control, are accounted for under the equity method. We record our share of the results of these entities as "Equity in earnings of unconsolidated investees" on the Consolidated Statements of Operations. We record our share of the results of Woongjin Energy and First Philec Solar in the same quarter and the results of AUOSP with a one quarter lag. To calculate our share of the investees’ income or loss, we adjust the net income (loss) of each joint venture to conform to U.S. GAAP and multiply that by our equity investment ownership percentage.

Variable Interest Entities ("VIE")

We regularly evaluate our relationships with Woongjin Energy, First Philec Solar and AUOSP to determine if we have a controlling financial interest in the VIEs and therefore become the primary beneficiary of the joint ventures requiring us to consolidate their financial results into our financial statements. We do not consolidate the financial results of Woongjin Energy, First Philec Solar and AUOSP as we have concluded that we are not the primary beneficiary of these joint ventures. Although we are obligated to absorb losses or have the right to receive benefits from the joint ventures that are significant to the entities, such variable interests held by us do not empower us to direct the activities that most significantly impact the joint ventures' economic performance. For additional details see Note 10 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for discussions of our joint ventures.

In connection with the sale of the equity interests in the entities that hold solar power plants, we also consider if we retain a variable interest in the entity sold, either through retaining a financial interest or by contractual means. If we determine that the entity sold is a VIE and that we hold a variable interest, we then evaluate whether we are the primary beneficiary. The entity that is the primary beneficiary consolidates the VIE. The determination of whether we are the primary beneficiary is based upon whether we have the power to direct the activities that most directly impact the economic performance of the VIE and whether we absorb any losses or benefits that would be potentially significant to the VIE. To date, there have been no sales of entities holding solar power plants in which we have concluded that we are the primary beneficiary after the sale.

Accounting for Business Combinations

We record all acquired assets and liabilities, including goodwill, other intangible assets and in-process research and development, at fair value. The initial recording of goodwill, other intangible assets and in-process research and development requires certain estimates and assumptions concerning the determination of the fair values and useful lives. The judgments made in the context of the purchase price allocation can materially impact our future results of operations. Accordingly, for significant acquisitions, we obtain assistance from third-party valuation specialists. The valuations calculated from estimates are based on information available at the acquisition date. Goodwill is not amortized, but is subject to annual tests for impairment or more often if events or circumstances indicate it may be impaired. Other intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives and are subject to impairment if events or circumstances indicate a possible inability to realize the carrying amount. For additional details see Notes 3 and 5 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Valuation of Long-Lived Assets

Our long-lived assets include property, plant and equipment, project assets and other intangible assets with finite lives. Our business requires heavy investment in manufacturing facilities that are technologically advanced, but can quickly become significantly under-utilized or rendered obsolete by rapid changes in demand for solar power products produced in those facilities.

We evaluate our long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. Factors considered important that could result in an impairment review include significant underperformance relative to expected historical or projected future operating results, significant changes in the manner of use of acquired assets and significant negative industry or economic trends. Our impairment evaluation of long-lived assets includes an analysis of estimated future undiscounted net cash flows expected to be generated by the assets over their remaining estimated useful lives. If our estimate of future undiscounted net cash flows is insufficient to recover the carrying value of the assets over the remaining estimated useful lives, we record an impairment loss in the amount by which the carrying value of the assets exceeds the fair value. Fair value is generally measured based on either quoted market prices, if available, or discounted cash flow analyses.


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Goodwill Impairment Testing

Goodwill is tested for impairment at least annually, or more frequently if certain indicators are present. A two-step process is used to test for goodwill impairment. The first step is to determine if there is an indication of impairment by comparing the estimated fair value of each reporting unit to its carrying value, including existing goodwill. Goodwill is considered impaired if the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds the estimated fair value. Upon an indication of impairment, a second step is performed to determine the amount of the impairment by comparing the implied fair value of the reporting unit’s goodwill with its carrying value.

We conduct our annual impairment test of goodwill as of the Sunday closest to the end of the third fiscal quarter of each year. Impairment of goodwill is tested at our reporting unit level. Management determined that the UPP Segment and R&C Segment each have two reporting units. The two reporting units of the UPP Segment are the systems business and the components business. The two reporting units of the R&C Segment are the North American commercial business and the residential and light commercial business. The process of evaluating the potential impairment of goodwill is highly subjective and requires significant judgment at many points during the analysis. In estimating the fair value of the reporting units, we make estimates and judgments about our future cash flows using an income approach defined as Level 3 inputs under fair value measurement standards. The income approach, specifically a discounted cash flow analysis, included assumptions for, among others, forecasted free cash flow, perpetual growth rates and long-term discount rates, all of which require significant judgment by management. The sum of the fair values of our reporting units are also compared to our external market capitalization to determine the appropriateness of our assumptions (i.e. the discounted cash flow analysis) and to reduce the fair values of our reporting units, if appropriate. These assumptions took into account the current economic environment and its impact on our business. In the event that management determines that the value of goodwill has become impaired, we will incur an accounting charge for the amount of the impairment during the fiscal quarter in which the determination is made. For additional details see Notes 3 and 5 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Certain of our financial assets and financial liabilities, specifically our cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, available-for-sale securities, foreign currency derivatives, interest rate swaps derivatives and convertible debenture derivatives are carried at fair value in our Consolidated Financial Statements. Accounting guidance defines fair value as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. We enter into over-the-counter ("OTC") foreign currency derivatives and use various valuation techniques to derive the value of option and forward contracts. In determining fair value, we use the market and income approaches. Current accounting guidance provides a hierarchy for inputs used in measuring fair value that maximizes the use of observable inputs and minimizes the use of unobservable inputs by requiring that the observable inputs be used when available. Observable inputs are inputs that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability developed based on market data obtained from sources independent of us. Unobservable inputs are inputs that reflect our assumptions about market participants assumptions used in pricing the asset or liability, developed based on the best information available in the circumstances. As such, fair value is a market-based measure considered from the perspective of a market participant who holds the asset or owes the liability rather than an entity specific measure. The hierarchy is broken down into three levels based on the reliability of inputs as follows:

Level 1—Valuations based on quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that we have the ability to access. Since valuations are based on quoted prices that are readily and regularly available in an active market, valuation of these products does not entail a significant degree of judgment. Financial assets utilizing Level 1 inputs include most money market funds.

Level 2—Valuations based on quoted prices in markets that are not active or for which all significant inputs are observable, directly or indirectly. Financial assets utilizing Level 2 inputs include bank notes, debt securities, foreign currency option contracts, forward exchange contracts, interest rate swaps derivatives and convertible debenture derivatives. The selection of a particular technique to value a derivative depends upon the contractual term of, and specific risks inherent with, the instrument as well as the availability of pricing information in the market. We generally use similar techniques to value similar instruments. Valuation techniques utilize a variety of inputs, including contractual terms, market prices, yield curves, credit curves and measures of volatility. For derivatives that trade in liquid markets, such as generic forward, option and swap contracts, inputs can generally be verified and selections do not involve significant management judgment.

Level 3—Valuations based on inputs that are unobservable and significant to the overall fair value measurement. Financial assets utilizing Level 3 inputs include certain money market funds. We use the market approach to estimate

57


the price that would be received to sell certain money market funds in an orderly transaction between market participants ("exit price"). We reviewed the underlying holdings and estimated the price of underlying fund holdings to estimate the fair value of these funds.

Availability of observable inputs can vary from instrument to instrument and to the extent that valuation is based on inputs that are less observable or unobservable in the market, the determination of fair value requires more judgment. Accordingly, the degree of judgment exercised by our management in determining fair value is greatest for instruments categorized in Level 3. In certain cases, the inputs used to measure fair value may fall into different levels of the fair value hierarchy. In such cases, for disclosure purposes the level in the fair value hierarchy within which the fair value measurement in its entirety falls is determined based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety.

Unrealized gains and losses of our available-for-sale securities and the effective portion of foreign currency derivatives are excluded from earnings and reported as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. To the extent our foreign currency derivatives are not effective hedges, unrealized gains or losses are included in earnings. Similarly, the change in fair value of our interest rate swaps derivatives and convertible debenture derivatives are included in earnings. Additionally, we assess whether an other-than-temporary impairment loss on our available-for-sale securities has occurred due to declines in fair value or other market conditions. Declines in fair value that are considered other-than temporary are recorded in "Other, net" in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
    
In general, investments with original maturities of greater than ninety days and remaining maturities of one year or less are classified as short-term investments. Investments with maturities beyond one year may also be classified as short-term based on their highly liquid nature and because such investments represent the investment of cash that is available for current operations. For additional details see Note 7 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Valuation of Certain Convertible Debt

Convertible debt instruments that may be settled in cash upon conversion require recognition of both the liability and equity components in the Consolidated Financial Statements. The debt component is required to be recognized at the fair value of a similar debt instrument that does not have an associated equity component. The equity component is recognized as the difference between the proceeds from the issuance of the convertible debt and the fair value of the liability, after adjusting for the deferred tax impact. The accounting guidance also requires an accretion of the resulting debt discount over the expected life of the convertible debt.

In February 2007, we issued $200.0 million in principal amount of our 1.25% senior convertible debentures ("1.25% debentures") to Lehman Brothers Inc. ("Lehman Brothers"). In July 2007, we issued $225.0 million in principal amount of our 0.75% senior convertible debentures ("0.75% debentures") to Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC ("Credit Suisse"). The 1.25% debentures and the 0.75% debentures contain partial cash settlement features and are therefore subject to the aforementioned accounting guidance. We estimated that the effective interest rate for similar debt without the conversion feature was 9.25% and 8.125% on the 1.25% debentures and 0.75% debentures, respectively. The resulting debt discount is amortized to non-cash interest expense under the interest method through the first date the debt holders can require us to repurchase their debentures. For additional details see Note 11 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Valuation of Share Lending Arrangements

Share lending arrangements executed in connection with convertible debt offerings or other financings are required to be measured at fair value and amortized as interest expense in our Consolidated Statement of Operations in the same manner as debt issuance costs. In addition, in the event that counterparty default under the share lending arrangement becomes probable, we are required to recognize an expense in our Consolidated Statement of Operations equal to the then fair value of the unreturned loaned shares, net of any probable recoveries.
 
We have two historical share lending arrangements. In connection with the issuance of our 1.25% debentures and 0.75% debentures, we loaned 2.9 million shares of our former class A common stock to LBIE and 1.8 million shares of our former class A common stock to Credit Suisse International ("CSI") under share lending arrangements. Retroactive application of the above accounting guidance, as required in fiscal 2010, resulted in higher non-cash amortization of imputed share lending costs as well as a significant non-cash loss resulting from Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. ("Lehman") filing a petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code on September 15, 2008, and LBIE commencing administration proceedings (analogous to bankruptcy) in the United Kingdom. On December 16, 2010, we entered into an assignment agreement with Deutsche Bank AG - London Branch ("Deutsche Bank") under which we assigned to Deutsche Bank our claims against LBIE and Lehman in connection with the share lending arrangement. Under the assignment agreement, Deutsche Bank paid us $24.0

58


million for the claims on December 16, 2010, and we may receive, upon the final allowance or admittance of the claims in the U.K. and U.S. proceedings, an additional payment for the claims. We cannot predict the amount of any such payment for the claims and cannot guarantee that we will receive any additional payment for the claims. The amount recovered under the assignment agreement on December 16, 2010 was $24.0 million and was reflected as "Gain on share lending arrangement" in our Consolidated Statements of Operations in fiscal 2010. For additional details see Note 11 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Accounting for Income Taxes

Our global operations involve manufacturing, R&D, selling and project development activities. Profit from non-U.S. activities is subject to local country taxation, but not subject to United States tax until repatriated to the United States. It is our intention to indefinitely reinvest these earnings outside the United States. We record a valuation allowance to reduce our U.S. deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. In assessing the need for a valuation allowance, we consider historical levels of income, expectations and risks associated with the estimates of future taxable income and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies. In the event we determine that we would be able to realize additional deferred tax assets in the future in excess of the net recorded amount, or if we subsequently determine that realization of an amount previously recorded is unlikely, we would record an adjustment to the deferred tax asset valuation allowance, which would change income tax in the period of adjustment. As of January 1, 2012, we believe there is insufficient evidence to realize additional deferred tax assets, although it is possible that a reversal of the valuation allowance, which could be material, could occur in fiscal 2012.

The calculation of tax liabilities involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex global tax regulations. We recognize potential liabilities for anticipated tax audit issues in the United States and other tax jurisdictions based on our estimate of whether, and the extent to which, additional taxes will be due. If payment of these amounts ultimately proves to be unnecessary, the reversal of the liabilities would result in tax benefits being recognized in the period in which we determine the liabilities are no longer necessary. If the estimate of tax liabilities proves to be less than the ultimate tax assessment, a further charge to expense would result. We accrue interest and penalties on tax contingencies which are classified as "Provision for income taxes" in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and are not considered material. For additional details see Note 13 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Pursuant to the Tax Sharing Agreement with Cypress, we are obligated to indemnify Cypress upon current utilization of carryforward tax attributes generated while we were part of the Cypress consolidated or combined group. Further, to the extent Cypress experiences any tax examination assessments attributable to our operations while part of the Cypress consolidated or combined group, Cypress will require an indemnification from us for those aspects of the assessment that relate to our operations. See also "Item 1A: Risk Factors" including "Our agreements with Cypress require us to indemnify Cypress for certain tax liabilities. These indemnification obligations and related contractual restrictions may limit our ability to pursue certain business initiatives."

In addition, foreign exchange gains (losses) may result from estimated tax liabilities, which are expected to be realized in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.


Results of Operations

Revenue
 
 
Year Ended
(In thousands)
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Utility and power plants
 
$
1,064,144

 
$
1,186,054

 
$
653,531

Residential and commercial
 
1,248,350

 
1,033,176

 
870,752

Total revenue
 
$
2,312,494

 
$
2,219,230

 
$
1,524,283


Total Revenue:  During fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009 our total revenue was $2,312.5 million, $2,219.2 million, $1,524.3 million, respectively. The increase in total revenue of 4% in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010 was primarily attributable to revenue from the development of several large scale projects in North America and Europe, as well as the continuous growth of our third-party global dealer network to adjust to demand in the geographical regions in which we do business. In fiscal 2011 and 2010, we recognized revenue on 765.8 MW and 558.5 MW, respectively, of solar power products sold through both our

59


UPP & R&C Segments. The increase in our total revenue was partially offset by declining average selling prices and mix of our solar power products. The increase in total revenue of 46% in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 is primarily attributable to revenue related to the sale of several large scale projects, including projects acquired through our acquisition of SunRay in March 2010, that were completed and monetized, as well as growing demand for our solar power products in the residential and commercial markets in the United States and Europe as a result of favorable renewable energy policies.

Sales outside the United States represented approximately 49%, 71%, and 57% of total revenue for fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009, respectively. The shift in revenue by geography in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010 was due to increasing demand in the United States for our solar power products due to additional federal and state initiatives supporting attractive solar incentives within the residential, commercial, and utility sectors as well as a slowdown in project development and component shipments in Europe due to changes in government incentives. The shift in revenue by geography in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 was due to the sale of several large scale projects completed or under construction in Italy during fiscal 2010.

Concentrations: The table below represents our significant customers which accounted for greater than 10 percent of total revenue, accounts receivable, or costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings during fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009. We had no customers that accounted for 10 percent or more of total revenue in fiscal 2011. We entered into a project contract with one of our customers in the United States in fiscal 2011, which is anticipated to account for 10 percent or more of total revenue in fiscal 2012.
 
 
 
Year Ended
Revenue
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Significant Customer:
Business Segment
 
 
 
 
 
 
Customer A
Utility and power plants
 
*
 
12
%
 
*

Customer B
Utility and power plants
 
*
 
*

 
12
%
 
 
 
As of
Accounts receivable
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
Significant Customer:
Business Segment
 
 
 
 
Customer C
Utility and power plants
 
20
%
 
*

Customer D
Utility and power plants
 
*

 
11
%
 
 
 
As of
Cost in excess of billings
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
Significant Customer:
Business Segment
 
 
 
 
Customer E
Utility and power plants
 
21
%
 
*

Customer F
Utility and power plants
 
*

 
17
%
Customer G
Utility and power plants
 
*

 
15
%

*
denotes less than 10% during the period

UPP Revenue: UPP revenue for fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009 was $1,064.1 million, $1,186.1 million, and $653.5 million, respectively, which accounted for 46%, 53%, and 43%, respectively, of total revenue. UPP revenue in fiscal 2011 decreased 10% as compared to fiscal 2010 primarily due to changes in European government incentives which had a materially negative effect on the market for solar systems, particularly large-scale solar products and systems in Europe, and caused our earnings related to such projects to decline in Europe. This decrease was partially offset by an increase in component sales period over period, particularly in North America. We recognized revenue on 229.3 MW and 118.6 MW of component sales in fiscal 2011 and 2010, respectively. The UPP Segment further recognized revenue under the percentage-of-completion method for several power plants including three solar power plants under construction in the United States totaling 60 MW and the completion of a 20 MW solar power plant in Ontario, Canada. In addition, in fiscal 2011, our UPP Segment completed and sold two power plants in Italy totaling 14 MW.

UPP revenue in fiscal 2010 increased 81% as compared to fiscal 2009 primarily due to revenue related to the sale of

60


several large scale development projects in Italy acquired and sold as part of our acquisition of SunRay in March 2010 as well as an increase in the number of EPC contracts. In the second half of fiscal 2010 our UPP Segment completed the sale of 44 MW and 8 MW solar power plants in Montalto di Castro Italy to a consortium of international investors, and a 13 MW solar power plant in Anguillara, Italy to another customer. The UPP Segment further recognized revenue under the percentage-of-completion method for several power plants totaling 28 MW in the Sicily region and Piedmont region of Italy, a 20 MW solar power plant in Toronto, Canada and a 17 MW solar power plant in Colorado. In addition, in fiscal 2010 our UPP Segment began providing solar panels and balance of system components to a utility customer in the United States under a large five-year supply contract.

In fiscal 2009, our UPP Segment recognized revenue from the construction of a 20 MW solar power plant for SunRay (in its capacity as our third-party customer) in Montalto di Castro, Italy prior to our acquisition of that company. In addition, our UPP Segment completed the construction of a 25 MW solar power plant in Desoto County, Florida and began the construction of a 10 MW solar power plant at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

R&C Revenue:  R&C revenue for fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009 was $1,248.4 million, $1,033.2 million, and $870.8 million, respectively, or 54%, 47%, and 57%, respectively, of total revenue. R&C revenue in fiscal 2011 increased 21% as compared to fiscal 2010 due to growing demand for our solar power products in the residential and commercial markets, specifically in rooftop and ground-mounted commercial projects in North America, particularly the United States, due to federal state and local initiatives supporting solar power projects. In fiscal 2011 we recognized revenue on 385.2 MW of solar power products sold through our R&C Segment as compared to 274.6 MW in fiscal 2010. In fiscal 2011, we additionally entered into new residential and commercial markets in Belgium and the United Kingdom and further expanded in Germany. We additionally expanded our third-party global dealer network which was composed of more than 1,800 dealers worldwide at the end of fiscal 2011, an increase of approximately 20% from fiscal 2010. These increases were partially offset by the change in European government incentives which adversely impacted the overall market for solar products and further drove down average selling prices in all regions.

R&C revenue in fiscal 2010 increased 19% as compared to fiscal 2009 primarily due to growing demand for our solar power products in the residential and commercial markets in both the United States and Europe, and in part due to our introduction of an additional product series in fiscal 2010 with increased solar panel efficiency and module configuration. In fiscal 2010 we additionally began construction on several large commercial projects in New Jersey.

Cost of Revenue

Details of cost of UPP revenue are as follows:
 
UPP
 
Year Ended
(Dollars in thousands)
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Amortization of other intangible assets
$
272

 
$
2,762

 
$
2,732

Stock-based compensation
5,706

 
7,608

 
5,808

Non-cash interest expense
1,323

 
5,412

 
1,231

Change in European government incentives
32,708

 

 

Materials and other cost of revenue
927,067

 
892,544

 
517,079

Total cost of revenue
$
967,076

 
$
908,326

 
$
526,850

Total cost of revenue as a percentage of revenue
91
%
 
77
%
 
81
%
Total gross margin percentage
9
%
 
23
%
 
19
%

Details of cost of R&C revenue are as follows:

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R&C
 
Year Ended
(Dollars in thousands)
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Amortization of other intangible assets
$
195

 
$
7,644

 
$
8,465

Stock-based compensation
7,481

 
8,121

 
8,190

Non-cash interest expense
1,241

 
1,495

 
1,508

Change in European government incentives
23,007

 

 

Materials and other cost of revenue
1,085,290

 
783,751

 
695,550

Total cost of revenue
$
1,117,214

 
$
801,011

 
$
713,713

Total cost of revenue as a percentage of revenue
89
%
 
78
%
 
82
%
Total gross margin percentage
11
%
 
22
%
 
18
%

Total Cost of Revenue: Our cost of revenue will fluctuate from period to period due to the mix of projects completed and recognized as revenue, in particular between large utility projects and large commercial installation projects. The cost of solar panels is the single largest cost element in our cost of revenue. Other cost of revenue associated with the construction of solar power systems includes real estate, mounting systems, inverters, third-party contract manufacturer costs, construction subcontract and dealer costs. In addition, other factors contributing to cost of revenue include amortization of other intangible assets, stock-based compensation, depreciation, provisions for estimated warranty claims, salaries, personnel-related costs, freight, royalties, facilities expenses and manufacturing supplies associated with contracting revenue and solar cell fabrication, as well as factory pre-operating costs associated with our manufacturing facilities.

During fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009 total cost of revenue was $2,084.3 million, $1,709.3 million, and $1,240.6 million, respectively, which represented an increase of 22% and 38% period over period. The increase in total cost of revenue in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010 is primarily due to a 37% increase in total MW of solar power products sold. Additionally contributing to the increase in total cost of revenue is $55.7 million in charges incurred in fiscal 2011 associated with the change in European government incentives, including (i) a $16.0 million write-down of project asset costs based on changes in fair value and our ability to develop, commercialize and sell active projects within Europe, and (ii) $39.7 million related to the write-down of third-party inventory and costs associated with the termination of third-party solar cell supply contracts resulting from lower demand and average selling price in certain areas of Europe. The increase in total cost of revenue is partially offset by lower material costs, higher yields as well as better factory utilization as a result of higher output generated at our manufacturing facilities and our AUOSP joint venture.

The increase in total cost of revenue in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 is primarily due to (i) increased sales volume; (ii) greater economies of scale as a result of lower material cost and better utilization; and (iii) an increase in output generated at our manufacturing facilities. During fiscal 2010, our two solar cell manufacturing facilities produced 577.7 MW and 397.4 MW in fiscal 2010 and 2009, respectively. The increase in total cost of revenue in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 partially corresponds with an increase in total revenue of 46% over the same period as average selling prices did not experience the significant declines as seen in fiscal 2011 as a result of the change in European government incentives.

UPP Gross Margin: Gross margin for our UPP Segment was $97.1 million, $277.7 million, and $126.7 million for fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009, respectively, or 9%, 23%, and 19%, respectively, of UPP revenue. UPP gross margin decreased in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010 primarily due to an increase in costs on certain power plant projects under construction and reductions in the average selling price of components due to oversupply in the market. Also contributing to the decline in gross margin were charges relating to the change in European government incentives totaling $32.7 million including (i) a $16.0 million write-down of project asset costs to estimated fair value based on changes in our ability to develop, commercialize and sell active projects within Europe, and (ii) $16.7 million related to the write-down of acquired third-party inventory and costs associated with the termination of third-party solar cell supply contracts as described above. Partially offsetting the decline in gross margin for our UPP Segment was an increase in component sales in North America and Europe, which typically have higher gross margin percentages than our utility projects. In fiscal 2011, we recognized revenue on 229.3 MW of components as compared to 118.6 MW in fiscal 2010, an increase of 93% year over year. UPP gross margin increased in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 primarily due to: (i) a greater proportion of sales from development projects in Italy which have higher gross margins due to customers paying a premium for turn-key fully developed power plants, and (ii) reduced charges for inventory write-downs and subsequent sales of aged third party solar panels in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009.


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R&C Gross Margin: Gross margin for our R&C Segment was $131.1 million, $232.2 million, and $157.0 million for fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009, respectively, or 11%, 22%, and 18%, respectively, of R&C revenue. Gross margin decreased in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010 primarily due to to: (i) overall reduction in average selling prices of our solar products; (ii) increased mix of third party panels in the first three quarters of fiscal 2011, which generally have a lower margin; and (iii) $23.0 million in charges related to the write-down of acquired third-party inventory and costs associated with the termination of third-party solar cell supply contracts as a result of the change in European government incentives as described above. These decreases were partially offset by increased activity and installations of rooftop and ground-mounted projects in the commercial sector in North America. R&C gross margin increased in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 primarily due to: (i) the reduction in large commercial balance of system cost, and (ii) improvements attributable to continued manufacturing scale and reductions in our manufacturing costs, partially offset by reduced average selling prices of solar power products.

Research and Development ("R&D")
 
Year Ended
(Dollars in thousands)
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Stock-based compensation
$
6,166

 
$
7,555

 
$
6,296

Non-cash interest expense
6

 

 

Other R&D
51,603

 
41,535

 
25,346

Total R&D
$
57,775

 
$
49,090

 
$
31,642

As a percentage of revenue
2
%
 
2
%
 
2
%

In fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009 R&D expense was $57.8 million, $49.1 million, and $31.6 million, respectively, which represents an increase of 18% in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010, and an increase of 55% in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2011. The overall increase in our investment in R&D period over period resulted primarily from costs related to the improvement of our current generation solar cell manufacturing technology, development of our next generation of solar cells, solar panels, trackers and rooftop systems, and development of systems performance monitoring products.

Cost reimbursements received from government entities in the United States additionally decreased over all periods due to phase out of related programs in 2010, such as the Solar America Initiative R&D agreement with the United States Department of Energy. R&D cost reimbursements received under such agreements totaled $1.0 million, $5.2 million, and $8.9 million during fiscal 2011, 2010, and 2009, respectively. As of January 1, 2012 we have executed new research and development agreements with the United States federal government and California state agencies. Further payments received under these contracts will offset some of our R&D expense in future periods.

Sales, General and Administrative ("SG&A")
 
Year Ended
(Dollars in thousands)
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Amortization of other intangible assets
$
21,202

 
$
28,071

 
$
5,277

Stock-based compensation
25,772

 
31,088

 
26,700

Total investment related costs
13,924

 

 

Amortization of promissory notes
2,122

 
11,054

 

Non-cash interest expense
45

 

 

Other SG&A
256,654

 
251,723

 
158,267

Total SG&A
$
319,719

 
$
321,936

 
$
190,244

As a percentage of revenue
14
%
 
15
%
 
12
%

During fiscal 2011, 2010 and 2009, SG&A expense was $319.7 million, $321.9 million, and $190.2 million, respectively. SG&A expense decreased 1% in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010 and was primarily driven by: (i) our cost-control strategy implemented in response to the changes in the European market and the resulting restructuring, including the overall reduction of consulting charges in Europe and the United States; (ii) the reduction in legal and other professional services as significant acquisition and integration related costs were incurred subsequent to our acquisition of SunRay in March 2010; and (iii) $4.4 million of expenses incurred in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 associated with our Audit Committee's independent investigation of certain accounting entries primarily related to cost of goods sold by our Philippines operations.

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The above decrease was partially offset by: (i) additional personnel related expenses (including salary, employee benefits, stock-based compensation costs and commission) as a result of net increase in headcount; (ii) non-recurring transaction expenses of $13.9 million incurred in connection with the April 28, 2011 Tender Offer Agreement with Total as well as related integration costs; (iii) additional bad debt expense of $9.8 million related to several customers impacted by the recent changing market conditions in Europe; and (iv) additional operating and development expenses consolidated into our financial results subsequent to our acquisition SunRay in March 2010.

SG&A expense increased 69% in fiscal 2010 as compared to fiscal 2009 and was primarily related to: (i) additional operating and development expenses consolidated into our financial results subsequent to our acquisition of SunRay in March 2010; (ii) higher amortization associated with other intangible assets related to acquired project assets (which were subsequently impaired in the third quarter for fiscal 2011); (iii) acquisition-related costs and integration-related costs such as legal, accounting, valuation and other professional services; (iv) costs associated with the formation of the AUOSP joint venture; (v) personnel related expenses (including stock-based compensation costs, bonus and commission) as a result of increased headcount; (vi) additional bad debt expense due to the overall increase in revenue and the collectability of outstanding accounts receivable related to several customers impacted by the difficult economic conditions; and (vii) $4.4 million of expenses incurred in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 associated with our Audit Committee independent investigation of certain accounting entries primarily related to cost of goods sold by our Philippines operations.

Goodwill and Other Intangible Asset Impairment
 
Year Ended
(In thousands)
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Goodwill impairment
$
309,457

 
$

 
$

Other intangible asset impairment
40,301

 

 

 
$
349,758

 
$

 
$

As a percentage of revenue
15
%
 
%
 
%

We conduct our annual impairment test of goodwill as of the Sunday closest to the end of the third fiscal quarter of each year. Impairment of goodwill is tested at our reporting unit level. Management determined the UPP Segment and R&C Segment each have two reporting units, UPP-International and UPP-Americas for UPP Segment, and Residential and Light Commercial and North American Commercial for R&C Segment. Based on the impairment test performed during the third quarter of fiscal 2011, as further described above under "Change in European Market", we determined that the carrying value of the UPP-International, UPP-Americas, and Residential and Light Commercial reporting units exceeded their fair value. As a result, we recorded a goodwill impairment loss of $309.5 million, representing all of the goodwill associated with these reporting units.  As of January 1, 2012, the fair value of the remaining reporting unit exceeded the carrying value under the first step of the goodwill impairment test. Therefore, goodwill was not impaired (see Note 5).

We additionally review our intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. During the third quarter of fiscal 2011, we determined the carrying value of certain intangible assets related to strategic acquisitions of EPC and O&M project pipelines in Europe were no longer recoverable and therefore recognized an impairment loss of $40.3 million in the year ended January 1, 2012 (see Note 5).

Restructuring Charges
 
Year Ended
(In thousands)
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
December 2011 Plan
$
7,477

 
$

 
$

June 2011 Plan
13,926

 
$

 
$

Restructuring charges
$
21,403

 
$

 
$

As a percentage of revenue
1
%
 
%
 
%

December 2011 Plan: To accelerate operating cost reduction and improve overall operating efficiency, in December 2011, we implemented a company-wide restructuring program (the "December 2011 Plan"). During the year ended January 1, 2012, $7.5 million of restructuring charges in connection with the December 2011 Plan were recognized in our Consolidated Statements of Operations, consisting of $7.3 million of employee severance and benefits, which includes $1.6 million of stock

64


compensation associated with the accelerated vesting of restricted stock units in accordance with certain grant and termination agreements, and $0.2 million of legal and other related charges. The December 2011 Plan eliminates 2% of SunPower's global workforce. We expect to record restructuring charges up to $17.0 million, related to both the UPP Segment and R&C Segment, in the twelve months following the approval and implementation of the plan. We expect greater than 80% of these charges to be cash.

June 2011 Plan: In response to reductions in European government incentives, primarily in Italy, which have had a significant impact on the global solar market, on June 13, 2011, our Board of Directors approved a restructuring plan (the "June 2011 Plan") to realign our resources. During the year ended January 1, 2012, $13.9 million of restructuring charges in connection with the June 2011 Plan were recognized in our Consolidated Statements of Operations consisting of $11.2 million of employee severance and benefits, which includes $1.4 million of compensation associated with the accelerated vesting of promissory notes previously issued as consideration for an acquisition completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, $0.7 million of lease and related termination costs, and $2.1 million of legal and other related charges. The June 2011 Plan eliminates 2% of our global workforce, in addition to the consolidation or closure of certain facilities in Europe. We expect to record restructuring charges of up to $17.0 million related to the UPP Segment in the twelve months following the approval and implementation of the plan. We expect greater than 90% of restructuring related charges to be cash.

Other Income (Expense), Net
 
Year Ended
(In thousands)
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Interest income
$
2,054

 
$
1,541

 
$
2,109

Non-cash interest expense
(26,012
)
 
(23,709
)
 
(19,843
)
Other interest expense
(41,010
)
 
(31,567
)
 
(16,444
)
Total interest expense
(67,022
)
 
(55,276
)
 
(36,287
)
Gain on sale of equity interest in unconsolidated investee
5,937

 

 

Gain on change in equity interest in unconsolidated investee
322

 
28,078

 

Gain on deconsolidation of consolidated subsidiary

 
36,849

 

Gain on mark-to-market derivatives
343

 
35,764

 
21,193

Gain on share lending arrangement

 
24,000

 

Other, net
(8,946
)
 
(26,410
)
 
(5,229
)
Other income (expense), net
$
(67,312
)
 
$
44,546

 
$
(18,214
)

Interest expense during fiscal 2011 primarily related to debt under our senior convertible debentures, fees for our outstanding letters of credit with Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch ("Deutsche Bank") and Deutsche Bank Trust Company, the mortgage loan with International Finance Corporation ("IFC"), debt under the loan agreement with California Enterprise Development Authority ("CEDA"), and debt under the revolving credit facilities with Union Bank, N.A. ("Union Bank") and Société Générale, Milan Branch ("Société Générale") and Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank ("Credit Agricole"). Interest expense during fiscal 2010 primarily related to issuances of our senior convertible debentures and borrowings under the facility agreement with the Malaysian government (deconsolidated in the third quarter of fiscal 2010), fees for our outstanding letters of credit with Deutsche Bank, and acquired debt. Interest expense during fiscal 2009 primarily related to borrowings under our senior convertible debentures, fees for our outstanding letters of credit with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo"), our borrowings under the facility agreement with the Malaysian government, term loan with Union Bank and customer advance payments. The increase in interest expense of 21% in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010 was due to additional indebtedness related to our $250.0 million in principal amount of 4.50% senior cash convertible debentures ("4.50% debentures") issued in April 2010, approximately €75.0 million borrowed from Société Générale in November 2010 under the revolving credit facility, as well as the $50.0 million borrowed from Union Bank in July 2011, both of which were repaid and terminated in September 2011 in connection with a borrowing of $250.0 million under a new Revolving Credit Agreement with Credit Agricole that provides up to $275.0 million of revolving loans, outstanding borrowings up to $75.0 million under our mortgage loan agreement with IFC beginning in November 2010, and $30 million borrowed under our loan agreement with CEDA in December 2010. The increase in interest expense of 52% in fiscal 2010 as compared to 2009 is due to: (i) additional indebtedness related to our $250.0 million in principal amount of 4.50% debentures issued in April 2010, $70.0 million borrowed from Union Bank in October 2010, approximately $98.0 million borrowed from Société Générale in November 2010 and $50.0 million borrowed from IFC in November 2010; and (ii) fees for our outstanding letters of credit with Deutsche Bank.
    

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During fiscal 2011, we recorded a net gain of $5.9 million from the sale of 15.5 million shares of Woongjin Energy Co., Ltd (“Woongjin Energy”), which decreased our equity ownership from 31% to 6%. In January 2012, we sold our remaining equity interest in Woongjin Energy. Non-cash gains recorded due to the dilution of our equity interest in Woongjin Energy as a result of Woongjin Energy's issuance of additional equity to other investors amounted to $0.3 million and $28.3 million in fiscal 2011 and 2010, respectively.

On July 5, 2010, we closed our joint venture transaction with AUO. Under the joint venture agreement our equity interest in SPMY, formerly our subsidiary, was reduced to 50% and the entity was renamed AUOSP. As a result of the shared power arrangement with AUO, we deconsolidated AUOSP and account for our direct investment under the equity method in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. We recognized a non-cash gain of $36.8 million as a result of the deconsolidation of AUOSP in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 in our Consolidated Statement of Operations.

The $0.3 million net gain on mark-to-market derivatives during fiscal 2011 related to the change in fair value of the following derivative instruments associated with the 4.50% debentures: (i) the embedded cash conversion option; and (ii) the bond hedge transaction. The $35.8 million net gain on mark-to-market derivatives during fiscal 2010 related to the change in fair value of the following derivative instruments associated with the 4.50% debentures: (i) the embedded cash conversion option; (ii) the over-allotment option; (iii) the bond hedge transaction; and (iv) the warrant transaction. The changes in fair value of these derivatives are reported in our Consolidated Statements of Operations until such transactions settle or expire. The over-allotment option derivative settled on April 5, 2010 when the initial purchasers of the 4.50% debentures exercised the $30.0 million over-allotment option in full. As a result of the terms of the warrants being amended and restated so that they are settled in shares of our common stock rather than in cash, the warrants have not required mark-to-market accounting treatment subsequent to December 23, 2010. The $21.2 million net gain on mark-to-market derivatives during fiscal 2009 relates to changes in the fair value of the purchased options associated with the issuance of our 4.75% debentures. The purchased options, which were indexed to our common stock, were deemed to be mark-to-market derivatives during the one-day period in which the over-allotment option in favor of the 4.75% debenture underwriters was unexercised. We entered into the debenture underwriting agreement on April 28, 2009 and the 4.75% debenture underwriters exercised the over-allotment option in full on April 29, 2009. During the one-day period that the underwriters' over-allotment option was outstanding, our common stock price increased substantially, resulting in a non-cash gain on purchased options of $21.2 million in fiscal 2009 in our Consolidated Statement of Operations.

In connection with the issuance of our 1.25% debentures, we loaned 2.9 million shares of our former class A common stock to Lehman Brothers International (Europe) Limited ("LBIE") under a share lending arrangement. On September 15, 2008, Lehman filed a petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code and LBIE commenced administration proceedings (analogous to bankruptcy) in the United Kingdom. As a result, we recognized a $213.4 million non-cash loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2008 which was the then fair value of the 2.9 million shares of our former class A common stock loaned and unreturned by LBIE. On December 16, 2010, we entered into an assignment agreement with Deutsche Bank under which we assigned to Deutsche Bank our claims against LBIE and Lehman in connection with the share lending arrangement. We recovered $24.0 million under the assignment agreement with Deutsche Bank which was reflected in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 as "Gain on share lending arrangement" in our Consolidated Statements of Operations.

The following table summarizes the components of Other, net:
 
Year Ended
(In thousands)
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
 
January 3, 2010
Gain (loss) on derivatives and foreign exchange
$