North Coast Solar Stocks

December 19, 2007

LDK Solar’s 3rd-qtr profit soars eightfold

Filed under: LDK — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 5:11 pm

Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:11pm EST

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Solar wafer maker LDK Solar Co Ltd (LDK) reported a more-than-eightfold increase in third-quarter profit on Wednesday, boosted by an expanded customer base and strong demand.

But stock in the Jiangxi, China-based company fell in after-hours trading to $62.90 from its New York Stock Exchange close of $66.11.

The results came two days after LDK Solar said an audit cleared it of allegations it had overstated silicon inventories.

Net income jumped to $41.6 million, or 37 cents per diluted American Depository Share (ADS), from $5.0 million, or 4 cents per diluted ADS, for the third quarter of fiscal 2006.

Sales increased over 400 percent to $158.7 million.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 37 cents on revenues of $145.35 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

“With the inventory investigation behind us, we have returned our focus to growing our business,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Xiaofeng Peng.

Third-quarter results were driven by continued robust demand for wafers as LDK Solar expanded its customer base. The company signed four long-term wafer supply contracts during the third quarter and five more since the quarter closed.

LDK Solar is on track to meet wafer production capacity goals by the end of 2007, and construction of a polysilicon plant is on track with the original plan, Peng said.

Polysilicon is used to manufacture solar wafers in solar panels that turn sunlight into electricity. Tight supplies of the material have driven up costs for some solar wafer producers.

For the fourth quarter, LDK Solar estimated revenue in the range of $180 million to $185 million, with diluted earnings in the range of 40 cents to 43 cents per ADS.

Analysts currently expect earnings of 40 cents per ADS on revenue of $166.2 million.

(Reporting by Steve James; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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LDK Solar Reports Financial Results for the Third Quarter 2007

Filed under: LDK — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Xinyu City, China and Sunnyvale, California, December 19, 2007 – LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (NYSE:LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today reported its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2007.

All financial results are reported on a U.S. GAAP basis.

Third Quarter 2007 Financial Highlights:

* Revenue of $158.7 million, up 60% quarter-over-quarter
* Gross profit of $48.9 million, up 40% quarter-over-quarter
* Net income of $41.6 million, or $0.37 per diluted ADS, up 45% quarter-over-quarter
* Signed four long-term wafer supply agreements during the third quarter
* Total wafer shipments increased 49% sequentially to 78.9MW in the third quarter

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 were $158.7 million, up 60.2% sequentially from $99.1 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2007, and up 404.7% year-over-year from $31.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2006.

Gross profit for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 was $48.9 million, up 40.2% sequentially from $34.9 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2007, and up 295.1% year-over-year from $12.4 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2006.Gross margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 was 30.8% compared with 35.2% in the second quarter of fiscal 2007 and 39.4% in the third quarter of fiscal 2006.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 was $41.6 million, or $0.37 per diluted ADS, compared to net income of $28.7 million, or $0.29 per diluted ADS for the second quarter of fiscal 2007, and $5.0 million, or $0.04 per diluted ADS for the third quarter of fiscal 2006.

The Company ended the third quarter of fiscal 2007 with $125.9 million in cash and cash equivalents.

“We are pleased to report strong results for the third quarter, following a positive outcome of the independent inventory review,” stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar.“With the inventory investigation behind us, we have returned our focus to growing our business.During the third quarter we experienced continued robust demand for our wafers and made great strides in expanding our customer base.We signed four long-term wafer supply contracts during the third quarter and five more since the quarter closed. We view these agreements as a testament to the quality of our products.

“We remain on track to meet our wafer production capacity goal of 400MW by the end of 2007. Additionally, the construction of our polysilicon plant is tracking with our original plan.In addition to the anticipated cost efficiencies we expect to achieve upon completion of our polysilicon plant, we are continuing cost reduction efforts through further advancements of our product processes,” concluded Mr. Peng.

Business Outlook

The following statements are based upon management’s current expectations. These statements are forward-looking, and actual results may differ materially. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, LDK estimates revenue to be in the range of $180 to $185 million for wafer shipments of 87 to 92MW.The Company also estimates fully diluted earnings per ADS to be in the range of $0.40 to $0.43.

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December 17, 2007

LDK Solar Audit Allays Investor Fears

Filed under: LDK — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 6:19 pm

Sarina Penn
12/17/07 – 06:19 PM EST

LDK Solar LDK stock soared as much as one-third Monday after the solar-power company cleared the air regarding accounting-flaw allegations made by a former employee.

The China-based firm first announced Charley Situ’s accusations in early October after the former financial controller dispersed emails to management and others about perceived “discrepancies” in LDK’s polysilicon inventory reporting as of Aug. 31.

Situ had been fired “for cause” a week and a half prior to that announcement, according to LDK, after having been with the company since March.

As of Oct. 5, a management team dispersed to look into the allegations had determined them to be meritless. Later that month, the board’s audit committee launched an “independent” probe with help from an outside accounting and consulting firm.

That investigation is now complete, the company said today, and it has also found that there were “no material errors” in the reporting in question. LDK said that Situ didn’t take into account “all locations in which the company stored its silicon feedstock.”

Louis Hsieh, one of the audit committee’s outside directors, described the investigation he helped oversee as “extremely detailed and thorough.” He added, “we are confident that we have reached a well-reasoned, objective and correct result.”

LDK rose $11.34, or 20%, to close at $68.18.

LDK Solar’s Sunny Audit

Filed under: CSUN, EMKR, ENER, LDK — Tags: , , — Jason @ 4:15 pm

Carl Gutierrez, 12.17.07, 4:15 PM ET

LDK Solar received an “all clear” from its audit, but that may not be enough for one analyst.

On Monday, American Depository Recipes of China-based LDK Solar rose 20.3%, or $11.56, to $68.40, in late-afternoon trading after the company’s independent audit gave the solar-product maker a clean bill of health.

The investigation came in response to allegations made by a former financial controller, Charley Situ, that the company had a 250-ton inventory discrepancy and poor financial controls.

LDK said the investigation found no material errors in its stated silicon inventory quantities, and concluded the allegations of an inventory discrepancy were incorrect, as they had not taken into account all locations where the company stored its silicon feedstock.

In late-October, the company said that the Securities and Exchange Commission had contacted it about the matter, though it did not report the status of that inquiry in Monday’s announcement.

According to the Associated Press, CIBC World Markets analyst Adam Hinckley kept his “sell” rating until LDK clarifies its outlook, he said.

Hinckley also cited the long-term contract and margin concerns, noting the contracts were signed at current rates, which continue to rise.

Solar-stocks typically surge on reports of new financing or supply deals. For example, on Friday China Sunergy saw its ADRs jump after the company announced it entered a supply agreement with German solar panel manufacturing company Asola Advanced and Automotive Solar System. Under the pact, China Sunergy will supply 10.2 megawatts of solar cells to Asola during 2008.

China Sunergy’s announcement came two days after EMCORE penned a large supply deal and four days after Energy Conversion won an important deal to supply solar panels to SunEdison.

Elsewhere in the high-flying solar sector shares of First Solar sunk 7.1%, or $17.84, to $233.85, SunPower dropped 5.3%, or $6.75, to $121.44, Canadian Solar fell 9.4%, or $2.20, to $21.32, and Hoku Scientific increased 5.3%, or 60 cents, to $10.70.

Thomson Financial News contributed to this article

December 16, 2007

A Solar Grand Plan

Filed under: none — Tags: , — Jason @ 5:18 pm

By 2050 solar power could end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and slash greenhouse gas emissions

By Ken Zweibel, James Mason and Vasilis Fthenakis

Scientific American Magazine

High prices for gasoline and home heating oil are here to stay. The U.S. is at war in the Middle East at least in part to protect its foreign oil interests. And as China, India and other nations rapidly increase their demand for fossil fuels, future fighting over energy looms large. In the meantime, power plants that burn coal, oil and natural gas, as well as vehicles everywhere, continue to pour millions of tons of pollutants and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually, threatening the planet.

Well-meaning scientists, engineers, economists and politicians have proposed various steps that could slightly reduce fossil-fuel use and emissions. These steps are not enough. The U.S. needs a bold plan to free itself from fossil fuels. Our analysis convinces us that a massive switch to solar power is the logical answer.

Solar energy’s potential is off the chart. The energy in sunlight striking the earth for 40 minutes is equivalent to global energy consumption for a year. The U.S. is lucky to be endowed with a vast resource; at least 250,000 square miles of land in the Southwest alone are suitable for constructing solar power plants, and that land receives more than 4,500 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of solar radiation a year. Converting only 2.5 percent of that radiation into electricity would match the nation’s total energy consumption in 2006.

To convert the country to solar power, huge tracts of land would have to be covered with photovoltaic panels and solar heating troughs. A direct-current (DC) transmission backbone would also have to be erected to send that energy efficiently across the nation.

The technology is ready. On the following pages we present a grand plan that could provide 69 percent of the U.S.’s electricity and 35 percent of its total energy (which includes transportation) with solar power by 2050. We project that this energy could be sold to consumers at rates equivalent to today’s rates for conventional power sources, about five cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). If wind, biomass and geothermal sources were also developed, renewable energy could provide 100 percent of the nation’s electricity and 90 percent of its energy by 2100.

The federal government would have to invest more than $400 billion over the next 40 years to complete the 2050 plan. That investment is substantial, but the payoff is greater. Solar plants consume little or no fuel, saving billions of dollars year after year. The infrastructure would displace 300 large coal-fired power plants and 300 more large natural gas plants and all the fuels they consume. The plan would effectively eliminate all imported oil, fundamentally cutting U.S. trade deficits and easing political tension in the Middle East and elsewhere. Because solar technologies are almost pollution-free, the plan would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 1.7 billion tons a year, and another 1.9 billion tons from gasoline vehicles would be displaced by plug-in hybrids refueled by the solar power grid. In 2050 U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would be 62 percent below 2005 levels, putting a major brake on global warming.

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December 14, 2007

Supply Deal Boosts China Sunergy

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 3:37 pm

Sarina Penn
12/14/07 – 03:37 PM EST

China Sunergy (CSUN) shares leapt more than 20% Friday after the solar-cell maker got another supply contract under its belt for next year.

The China-based company, which went public about seven months ago, inked an agreement to supply Germany’s Asola Advanced and Automotive Solar System with solar cells capable of converting sunlight into 10.2 megawatts of electricity a year.

Sunergy has recently announced similar deals with two other solar-module makers within the past couple of months. As for the Asola deal, the contract period runs to 2008, but Sunergy says that the parties could possibly decide to continue the relationship through 2012.

Asola CEO Reinhard Wecker in fact commented that he views Sunergy as “a valuable partner for our 2008 expansion plans and beyond,” adding that “we would like to double or even triple our purchase volumes from China Sunergy each year” as his company looks to expand its business to new markets.

China Sunergy shares were up $1.18, or 12.4%, at $10.73 in recent trading.

December 12, 2007

EMCORE Warms Up To Solar Energy

Filed under: EMKR, ENER, FSLR, HOKU, SPWR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:00 pm

Carl Gutierrez, 12.12.07, 7:00 PM ET

EMCORE’s warming up fast to the high-flying solar energy market.

On Wednesday, the EMCORE Corp. agreed to supply 60 megawatts of solar power systems to be deployed in Ontario, Canada over the next three years.

Shares of the company soared on the news and were exchanging hands at $11.28 in late-afternoon trading, a 19.8%, or $1.86, rise from Tuesday’s closing price.

“Terrestrial solar has been a big focus for the company over the past couple of years,” said CIBC World Markets analyst Sam Dubinsky, “and the major catalyst that investors have been waiting for.”

As the term might suggest, “terrestrial solar” is distinguished from solar panels used on satellites.

Based in Albuquerque, N.M., EMCORE makes semiconductor parts for solar power use, as well as the broadband, fiber, and optics markets.

EMCORE will supply and install turnkey solar power systems in the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario area utilizing its gallium arsenide photovoltaic systems, which concentrate the sun’s rays.

According to Dubinsky, the Ontario deal will bring in $200-$250 million in sales over the three year period. He also expects that to be spread out, rather than weighted at one particular time.

Dubinsky went on to elaborate that EMCORE has historically been considered, and valued as, an optics company. Yet, increasing penetration into the terrestrial solar market could change Wall Street’s perception and valuation of the stock.

Dubinsky noted that solar companies typically trade at over 5 to 6 times 2008 sales, while EMCORE is currently trading near 2.5 times.

“As the solar business ramps up,” Dubinsky said, “we believe that the company’s multiple could expand meaningfully.”

In short, EMCORE can benefit from the investor enthusiasm that First Solar, SunPower, Hoku Scientific, and numerous others, have enjoyed.

Dubinsky continued, saying that terrestrial solar has only accounted for a small fraction of the company’s sales, but meaningful wins have been expected to be announced at the end of 2007 and thereafter.

Wednesday’s announcement comes two days after Energy Conversion Devices announced it would supply SunEdison with solar laminates with up to 17 megawatts of annual generating capacity.

In early-November, First Solar, one of the leaders in the industry, announced new supply deals that would expand its contracted panel volume by a total of 557 megawatts of solar panels, allowing for additional sales of approximately $1 billion, between 2008 and 2012.

Can the solar industry live without tax credits?

Filed under: AKNS, FSLR, JASO, SPWR, STP, YGE — Tags: , — Jason @ 3:38 pm

Democrats pressed to pass energy bill, extend incentives

By Stephanie I. Cohen
Last update: 3:38 p.m. EST Dec. 12, 2007

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The alternative energy sector expects big things from the Democratic-controlled Congress, namely pumped up government spending and incentives for alternative energy sources.

But the nascent solar industry has hit roadblocks recently in its efforts to lock in long-term government incentives from Democrats, and some market players are wondering if Democrats can deliver on their renewable energy promises.

U.S. federal energy tax policy has a long history of promoting oil and gas development. Now the solar industry, which secured some tax breaks from the Republican-controlled Congress in 2005, wants to extend and expand these incentives. Failure to pass solar incentives could put pressure on the industry and would represent a setback, while passage is expected to rally stocks, according to analysts.

The industry’s strategy for securing tax breaks has focused less on the environmental benefits of using non-fossil fuel energy sources to generate electricity and more on job prospects for lawmakers’ constituents and rebuilding American’s industrial cities.

These tax credits would be beneficial for some of the biggest names in the solar space including California-based solar installer Akeena Solar (AKNS) and solar manufacturer SunPower (SPWR) , First Solar (FSLR) . China’s Suntech (STP) ,Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. (YGE) , and Ja Solar Holdings Co. (JASO) would also benefit, according to analysts.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., face an uphill battle as they try to push a contentious energy bill through Congress in the coming weeks. They have acknowledged it will be difficult to pass an energy tax package in the Senate, where opposition is significant, and have hinted that tax provisions may have to be moved as a separate package down the road.

Groups like the Solar Energy Industry Association are concerned that business and residential solar tax credits pivotal in growing the domestic solar market in the past two years, and which are set to expire at the end of 2008, may be left dangling if Democrats prove unable to pass a energy bill. The group is calling for an 8-year extension of the exiting solar commercial investment tax credit and a six-year extension and expansion of the residential solar tax credit. These incentives would cost about $900 million over 10 years, according to industry.

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December 11, 2007

Doubles Your Money in Six Months

Filed under: AKNS, AMAT, ASTI, CSIQ, CSUN, DSTI, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, HOKU, ICPR, JASO, LDK, SOLF, SPIR, SPWR, STP, TSL, WFR, YGE — Tags: — Jason @ 2:10 pm
Symbol Company Name Date Price Stop Last P/L $ Days %
AKNS Akeena Solar, Inc. 6/13/2007 $3.62 $1.80 $6.43 $2.81 181 78%
AMAT Applied Materials, Inc. 6/13/2007 $18.94 $14.00 $18.64 ($0.30) 181 -2%
ASTI Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. 6/13/2007 $7.30 $3.50 $22.02 $14.72 181 202%
CSIQ Canadian Solar Inc. 6/13/2007 $9.71 $6.00 $24.59 $14.88 181 153%
CSUN China Sunergy Co. Ltd. 6/13/2007 $11.02 $8.00 $10.47 ($0.55) 181 -5%
DSTI DayStar Technologies, Inc. 6/13/2007 $5.13 $2.00 $4.30 ($0.83) 181 -16%
ENER Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. 6/13/2007 $30.30 $20.00 $30.52 $0.22 181 1%
ESLR Evergreen Solar, Inc. 6/13/2007 $8.82 $5.00 $14.85 $6.03 181 68%
FSLR First Solar Inc. 6/13/2007 $73.75 $40.00 $250.00 $176.25 181 239%
HOKU Hoku Scientific Inc. 6/13/2007 $4.50 $2.00 $12.54 $8.04 181 179%
ICPR ICP Solar Technologies, Inc. 6/13/2007 $3.05 $1.00 $2.54 ($0.51) 181 -17%
JASO JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd. 6/13/2007 $25.03 $15.00 $66.34 $41.31 181 165%
LDK LDK Solar Co., Ltd. 6/13/2007 $23.43 $15.00 $58.81 $35.38 181 151%
SOLF Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd. 6/13/2007 $8.46 $6.00 $27.20 $18.74 181 222%
SPIR Spire Corp. 9/13/2007 $10.00 $8.00 $22.60 $12.60 89 126%
SPWR SunPower Corp. 6/13/2007 $53.75 $20.00 $133.64 $79.89 181 149%
STP Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. 6/13/2007 $32.00 $20.00 $83.11 $51.11 181 160%
TSL Trina Solar Ltd. 6/13/2007 $39.94 $15.00 $52.05 $12.11 181 30%
WFR MEMC Electronic Materials 6/13/2007 $57.28 $25.00 $83.08 $25.80 181 45%
YGE Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. 11/29/2007 $27.26 $18.00 $33.60 $6.34 12 23%
Average $25.20 168 98%

December 10, 2007

LDK Solar, Q-Cells Ink Supply Deal

Filed under: LDK — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:45 pm

Sarina Penn
12/10/07 – 01:45 PM EST

LDK Solar (LDK) soared more than 19% Monday after the China-based company struck a 10-year supply contract with a German solar-cell manufacturer.

LDK will, from 2009 through 2018, deliver polysilicon and multicrystalline solar wafers allowing Q-Cells to make photovoltaic cells with more than 6 gigawatts of overall electrical output.

This agreement — which Q-Cells says works to “deepen” the companies’ existing long-standing relationship — is of a “take or pay” nature. That means Q-Cells must pay certain fees should it refuse any product deliveries.

Q-Cells will prepay 10% of the silicon value for required expansion financing. And if LDK expands its manufacturing capacity, Q-Cells has the option to buy 30% of the expanded production. Specific financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Q-Cells said that deliveries will start with 1,000 metric tons annually in 2009, accelerating to 5,000 tons by 2013.

Shares of LDK were recently up $8.85 to $54.60.

Energy Conversion Warmed By SunEdison

Filed under: ENER — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:20 pm

Carl Gutierrez, 12.10.07, 1:20 PM ET

SunEdison is taking a crack at the flexible solar panels made by Energy Conversion Devices.

Shares of Energy Conversion, based in Rochester Hills, Mich., were up 8.8%, or $2.57, to $31.77 in morning-trading on Monday.

The rise came after the company announced it would supply SunEdison with solar laminates with up to 17 megawatts of annual generating capacity.

A one-megawatt plant running continuously at full capacity can power 778 households each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Solar technology has lower capacity since its ability to generate power is limited by availability of the sun.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement, but Sun Edison will purchase at least 5 megawatts worth of products next year, with up to an additional 12 megawatts worth of laminates for use on large-scale rooftop installations for industrial and commercial buildings, mostly in the U.S.

Energy Conversion makes products for alternative energy generation, energy storage and information technology.

SunEdison is a solar energy service provider headquartered in Baltimore, Md.

“It wasn’t such a large announcement,” said CIBC World Markets analyst Adam Hinckley, “but it’s positive because SunEdison is one of the top installers in the country, and having them back your technology is definitely a positive.”

Energy Conversion’s solar laminates are unique in their field. Light-weight and frameless, they are literally bendable.

“Unlike the standard crystalline silicon solar panels,” Hinckley noted, “solar laminates can be made at any size by basically rolling it and laminating it to actual roofing material.”

Hinckley added that this deal alone will not necessarily increase Energy Conversion’s earnings, but still felt the rise in share price is warranted as the announcement is positive news.

Unlike much of the solar industry, Energy Conversion’s shares have not only have not soared, but have actually fallen 20.4% from $39.89 over the past year due manufacturing problems and cost over-runs.

The Associated Press contributed to this article

United Solar Ovonic Announces Agreement with SunEdison to Supply up to 17 MW of Photovoltaic Laminates

Filed under: ENER — Tags: , , — Jason @ 7:00 am

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec 10, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — United Solar Ovonic LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ENER) (“ECD”), announced today that it has entered into a supply agreement with Sun Edison LLC to supply up to 17 MW of its UNI-SOLAR(R) solar laminates in calendar year 2008. Under the terms of the agreement, SunEdison will purchase a minimum of 5 MW and up to an additional 12 MW of UNI-SOLAR laminates for use on large-scale rooftop installations on industrial and commercial buildings principally in the U.S.

“We are pleased to be working with SunEdison, one of North America’s leading solar energy service providers,” commented Mark Morelli, president and CEO of ECD. “This is the latest example of the momentum United Solar is building as customers are won over by the extensive benefits of our proven laminates, particularly for rooftop applications like those being targeted by SunEdison.”

“The flexibility and lightweight characteristics of United Solar’s laminates enable SunEdison to supply solar services to a broader range of customers, especially to deploy solar on rooftops which often cannot support a heavier load,” said Thomas (Tom) Rainwater, CEO of SunEdison. “SunEdison is ideally positioned to leverage United Solar’s unique thin-film products to deliver solar energy to our customers. Our agreements with United Solar and others help us to meet the needs of our customers to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint by generating sustainable, clean solar power.”

UNI-SOLAR laminates offer superior cost-effective solutions for roofing applications because they are lightweight, durable, flexible, can be integrated directly with building materials, and generate more energy in real- world conditions. They are, for example, three to five times lighter than conventional solar modules (which use glass), offering an ideal solution for low-load bearing roof applications. UNI-SOLAR laminates can be installed without any structural changes or penetrations to the roof, and provide superior wind and seismic load performance compared with conventional solar modules.

December 5, 2007

Hoku to borrow $185 mln for polysilicon plant

Filed under: HOKU, SOLF, STP — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:09 pm

Wed Dec 5, 2007 6:09pm EST

Dec 5 (Reuters) – Fuel-cell parts maker Hoku Scientific Inc (HOKU) said it signed an agreement to borrow up to $185 million from Merrill Lynch for setting up a polysilicon plant in Pocatello, Idaho.

Shares of the company rose 28 percent in late electronic trade.

The facility is expected to produce about 2,500 metric tons of solar-grade polysilicon a year at full capacity and the first shipments are planned for the beginning of 2009.

Subsidiary Hoku Materials, which will build the plant, will get about $35 million in cash from its parent prior to obtaining any of the loan proceeds, the Hawaii-based company said.

Hoku’s customers, Sanyo Electric Co Ltd, Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP), Global Expertise Wafer Division Ltd and Solarfun Power Hong Kong Ltd, have committed to pay about $240 million for future product shipments to support Hoku’s construction and start-up costs.

Last month, Hoku signed a $306 million, eight-year polysilicon supply contract with SolarfunPower Hong Kong Ltd, a unit of Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd (SOLF).

Polysilicon is a key raw material used in making solar cells.

Shares of the company were trading at $11.38 in late electronic trade, after closing down 9.5 percent at $8.87 on the Nasdaq Wednesday.

(Reporting by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)

December 4, 2007

Investment Lifts Solarfun Power

Filed under: SOLF — Tags: , , — Jason @ 4:47 pm

Sarina Penn
12/04/07 – 04:47 PM EST

Shares of Solarfun Power (SOLF) flew skyward Tuesday after a major shareholder vaulted its stake in the China-based solar-power chipmaker to more than one-third.

Good Energies, a privately held firm that specializes in renewable-energy investments, agreed to buy about another 66.7 million shares and 281,000 American depositary shares from existing stockholders. Some of that stock will come from Chief Executive Yunghua Lu, who will sell half of his Solarfun interest, leaving him with a 16.1% ownership stake.

The transaction should close in the first quarter, when Energies’ stake in Solarfun will surge to around 34.7% from the current 6.3% level. Another Energies representative, as well as a new independent director, will join Energies Investment Officer Sven Hansen on Solarfun’s board. Hansen has served on the board since August 2006.

Richard Kauffman, CEO of Good Energies, said his firm is eager to help Solarfun “achieve its long-term vision,” and views the company as “one of the best manufacturing platforms for [photovoltaic] products in Asia” with “tremendous opportunities for growth.”

Solarfun, for its part, hopes to leverage Energies’ “expertise, resources, and track record of successful investments in the solar industry.”

Solarfun shares rocketed $5.65, or 27.4%, to close at $26.25.

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