Overall view of SunPower solar panels at the UC Davis West Village on Hutchison Drive in Davis. On Tuesday, SunPower said it signed a contract to provide solar technology to the Cajon Valley Unified School District in a deal seen as evidence the ...and more »
Top of the Order: Â
Here Comes the SunPower:Â With the way the weather has been around the region lately, and more rain coming down everywhere, the sun shining in the clear blue sky has been as rare as a day without the soul-crushing gridlock along our parking lot-like freeways.
But, all the clouds and the rain couldnâ€™t dampen the enthusiasm that greeted San Jose-based SunPower after theÂ solar-technology company signed a deal to provide solar-panel technology to the Cajon Valley Unified School District near San Diego. SunPower investors liked the thought of the company going back to school so much, so to speak, that they sent SunPower shares up 8.8 percent to close Tuesday at $8.58.
The deal calls for SunPower to provide its Helix solar systems to 24 schools in the district. The systems are capable of producing 4.6 megawatts of power and are expected to be up and running by the end of the year.
All in all, signing up a school district near San Diego isnâ€™t that big of a deal. However, with the solar-panel market seen as being in a bit of a holding pattern for now, SunPowerâ€™s new deal suggests the company is still able to sign contracts, and that there is growing confidence in its technology. The company is viewed as setting itself up for 2018, when the solar-panel industry is expected to turn around and grow, again.
So, in spite of all the rain right now, SunPower is finding a way to shine.
The Old Boss is Back, In a Way: Chances are that late last week, you focused your attention on what you were going to do during the three-day Presidentsâ€™ Day holiday weekend. For me, it was spending the time up at Yosemite celebrating the latest anniversary of my 29th birthday with my family and some friends.
So, no one would blame you for missing that former Cypress Semiconductor Chief Executive T.J. Rodgers decided to sue the company he founded, and led for more than three decades.
Rodgers said he was suing Cypress in order to obtain books and records related to what he called â€œirreconcilable conflicts of interestâ€ involving the semiconductor companyâ€™s executive chairman, Ray Bingham. In a statement, Rodgers cited Binghamâ€™s ties to Canyon Bridge Equity Partners â€” a private equity firm Rodgers said is â€œbacked by the government of the Peopleâ€™s Republic of Chinaâ€ and which is attempting to buy chipmaker Lattice Semiconductor â€” as evidence that Bingham may not be acting in Cypressâ€™ best interests.
â€œCanyon Bridgeâ€™s pending $1.3 billion acquisition of U.S. programmable logic maker LatticeSemiconductor, a company Cypress has attempted to acquire on two previous occasions, clearly demonstrates that Canyon Bridge competes directly with Cypress,â€ Rodgers said in a statement. â€œAs Cypressâ€™s Executive Chairman, Ray Bingham has intimate knowledge of the Companyâ€™s M&A (mergers and acquisition) strategy and Rodgers believes that Bingham can use that knowledge to benefit Canyon Bridge to the detriment of the Company and its stockholders.â€
Rodgers is more than just an angry ex-boss who is shaking his fist at the place where he used to work. When he retired as CEO last year, Rodgers had been the only chief executive Cypress ever had since Rodgers founded the company in 1982. And with more than 8.6 million shares of Cypress stock, Rodgers remains the companyâ€™s single-largest individual shareholder, so his opinions are likely to have some impact with Cypressâ€™ other stock owners.
Rodgers also said he was nominatingÂ Daniel McCranie and Camillo Martino for Cypressâ€™ board of directors. McCranie is chairman of On Semiconductor, while Martino is on the board of directors of MagnaChip Semiconductor. Rodgers said he would send out McCranieâ€™s and Martinoâ€™s names as part of a proxy statement to Cypressâ€™ shareholders who will be able to vote for the nominees at Cypressâ€™ next annual meeting.
Bottom of the Lineup:
Hereâ€™s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Tuesday.
Movinâ€™ on Up:Â In addition to SunPower, gains came from Coupa Software, Advanced Micro Devices, Finisar and Extreme Networks.
In the Red:Â Decliners included Quotient Technology, Depomed, Pandora Media, TiVo and Shutterfly.
The tech-focusedÂ Nasdaq Composite IndexÂ rose 0.5 percent to 5,865.95.
The blue chipÂ Dow Jones Industrial AverageÂ added 0.6 percent to end the day at 20,743.
And the broad-basedÂ Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 IndexÂ also rose 0.6 percent to finish at 2,365.38.
Quote of the Day:Â â€œâ€œI would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleaguesâ€™ important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart, effective immediately. This decision is mine alone.â€ â€” Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannapoulous, who resigned his editor position at Breitbart amid a controversy over comments he had made related to pedophilia.
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