SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) released its earnings numbers for the three months through March 2014 this afternoon. The company showed earnings per share of $0.49 for the period it records as the first quarter of 2014. Revenue in the period came in at $683.7 million. In trading on Thursday shares in SunPower trended strongly upward and hit $32.02 as the market closed.

Sunpower Corporation

In the run-up to the release of these earnings numbers, analysts following SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) were expecting the company to show earnings of 32 cents per share. Revenue was forecast to come in at $669 million. The forecasts were gathered from a Businessweek survey of 15 analysts following the solar concern. In the same months of 2013 SunPower earned 22 cents on revenue of $575 million.

SunPower earnings smash expectations

After the weather during the first three months of 2014 prevented many people from going outside, expectations for SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) were tempered heading into the release of this afternoon’s earnings report. The company’s earnings and revenue beat expectations and the market seemed pleased with the positives, though not thrilled.

In after-market trading stock in SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) traded up by around 1.5%. The company’s management gave conservatively positive guidance for the rest of 2014, a move which continues its policy of not over-promising. Any company in a growth industry could learn a lesson or two about promises from SunPower.

Despite the company’s constraints on its promises, investors have driven the value of the firm up massively in the last twelve months. 2013 was the year that many solar companies came of age, but few did it as dramatically as SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR). The company’s value has more than tripled in the last twelve months, leaving it valued at a multiple of 57 on 2013 earnings.

Momentum bust beaten

Many companies that were negatively afflicted by the flight from momentum stocks in the early months of 2014 have delivered good results this earnings season, and several have been rewarded by investors with a turnaround in the prospects of their shares. There’s no telling if SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) will see an effect like this tomorrow morning, though after-market trading implies some amount of positivity around the company.

In 2014 so far SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) has recorded a 7% increase in value, with all of those gains coming in the last five days. The company’s stock crashed along with the rest of the momentum reliant equities, but recovered heading into today’s earnings release.

With so much expectation on the solar industry, it is difficult to pick a company likely to succeed and stick with it. SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) is still only operating at a fraction of its potential. Those holding stock at current prices are betting on it coming into that potential in the years ahead. Today’s earnings report moves the company toward that goal.