North Coast Solar Stocks

November 27, 2008

Sharp, Enel to invest in $2.6 bln Italy solar venture

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 5:47 am

Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:47am EST

By Mayumi Negishi

TOKYO, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Japan’s Sharp Corp, Italy’s Enel SpA and a third partner are likely to invest more than $2.6 billion in Italian solar power ventures to tap growing demand for cleaner energy despite a global economic slowdown.

Top solar power firms are hurrying to expand capacity even as the sector smarts from a worsening global economy, which is drying up financing for new ventures, forcing smaller solar power firms to push back capex plans and putting pressure on big players to recoup their investments faster.

Sharp, the world’s No.2 maker of solar cells, said on Thursday it and Italy’s largest power company Enel planned to spend about 100 billion yen ($1.05 billion) to set up solar power generating plants in Italy with a total generating capacity of 189 megawatts by the end of 2012.

The two and another manufacturer also plan to build a factory in Italy to produce thin-film solar cells, with an initial investment of at least 72 billion yen, it said. That could grow to more than 150 billion yen when the factory reaches full capacity of about 1 gigawatts.

Sharp is stepping up investment and overhauling its business model in an effort to retake market share from No.1 solar cell maker Q-Cells of Germany, whose aggressive capital spending plans outstrip those of its rivals.

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November 26, 2008

Yingli Green Energy Reports Third Quarter 2008 Results

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 7:11 am

Wednesday November 26, 7:11 am ET

— Q3 2008 Net Revenues Increased 73.1% over Q3 2007 and 11.2% over Q2 2008
— Company Reaffirms Business Outlook for Full Year 2008
— Company Also Announces Proposed Acquisition of Affiliated Polysilicon Company

BAODING, China, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (YGE; “Yingli Green Energy” or the “Company”), one of the world’s leading vertically integrated photovoltaic (“PV”) product manufacturers, today announced its unaudited consolidated financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2008.

Third Quarter 2008 Consolidated Financial and Operating Highlights
— PV module shipments totaled 80.0 MW.
— Net revenues were RMB 2,209.8 million (US$325.5 million).
— Gross profit was RMB 492.6 million (US$72.6 million) and gross margin was 22.3%.
— Operating income was RMB 377.1 million (US$55.5 million) and operating margin was 17.1%.
— Net income was RMB 150.8 million (US$22.2 million) and diluted earnings per ordinary share and per American depositary share (“ADS”) were RMB 1.17 (US$0.17).
— On an adjusted non-GAAP(1) basis, net income was RMB 175.3 million (US$25.8 million) and diluted earnings per ordinary share and per ADS were RMB 1.35 (US$0.20).

(1) All non-GAAP measures exclude share-based compensation and amortization of intangible assets arising from purchase price allocation in connection with a series of acquisitions of equity interest in Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd. (“Tianwei Yingli”), the Company’s principal operating subsidiary. For further details on non-GAAP measures, please refer to the reconciliation table and a detailed discussion of the Company’s use of non-GAAP information set forth elsewhere in this earnings release.

“The Company’s business operations continued to be strong during the third quarter of 2008,” commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “Net revenues continued to grow with increased PV module shipments and output, which benefited from our broad customer base and well-recognized brand name. The total shipments for the first three quarters of 2008 were on track, accounting for 75.1% to 72.4% of our shipment guidance of 270 MW to 280 MW for 2008. Looking forward, we believe Germany will remain a major growth driver of the global PV market while the PV market in the United States has gained additional visibility with the extension of the Investment Tax Credit in early October 2008. In addition to these two markets, we plan to further expand our sales in emerging PV markets including South Korea, Italy, France, Belgium and China. We believe our existing position and continued efforts in these markets will help us improve our brand recognition globally and further solidify our well-balanced geographical and customer sales portfolio. To date, the Company has signed sales contracts for delivery of approximately 120 MW of PV modules in 2009. In addition, we are in negotiations with customers for another 350 MW which we expect to finalize by the end of 2008 or early 2009.”

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November 25, 2008

LA Pursues Solar Power Plan, Critics Question Costs

Filed under: EIX, PCG, SRE — Tags: , , — Jason @ 9:59 pm

November 25, 2008: 09:59 PM EST

By Cassandra Sweet
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

SAN FRANCISCO -(Dow Jones)- The city of Los Angeles plans to develop and sign contracts for 1,280 megawatts of solar power generation by 2020, but critics question the cost of the plan.

The city-owned utility, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, plans to install 130 MW of rooftop solar panels on city homes by 2016 and develop 400 MW of commercial and industrial rooftop solar generation by 2014, the city said. The 400-MW piece of the plan would cost $3 billion, but that amount could be reduced by as much as two-thirds if federal tax subsidies, accelerated depreciation and volume discounts are factored in, the city said.

The city hasn’t released details for how much the larger plan would cost, or how it would be carried out, and details on the 400-MW component are slim, leading to criticism of the plan.

“Our members want to know how much this 400 megawatts will cost and how much the rate increases will be,” said Gary Toebben, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. “None of this information is available.”

As part of the plan, LADWP for the first time would allow so-called third- party ownership of rooftop solar installations, in which someone other than the utility or the customer owns a rooftop solar generator that send electricity to the grid.

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China Sunergy Announces Financial Results for the Third Quarter 2008

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:30 am

Tuesday November 25, 6:30 am ET

Reports Third Quarter Revenues of US$119.0 million, an Increase of 142.9% Year-Over-Year; Solar Cell Production and Gross Margin are both within Guidance at 35.7.MW and 9.3% respectively

NANJING, China, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), (“China Sunergy” or the “Company”) a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today its financial results for the third quarter of 2008.

Third Quarter Financial Results

— Revenues were US$119.0 million, representing a 142.9% and 6.6% increase compared to the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, respectively; revenues generated from solar cell sales were US$113.4 million, representing a 144.9% and 8.6% increase compared to the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, respectively.

— Gross profit was US$11.1 million compared to US$1.0 million and US$11.6 million during the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, respectively. Gross margin was 9.3%, which was within the Company’s guidance range, compared to 2.1% and 10.4% during the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, respectively. Blended gross margin was impacted mainly by the reduced OEM volume, compared to previous quarter.

— GAAP net income was US$0.2 million, compared to net loss of US$4.4 million and net income of US$3.1 million in the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, respectively. Lower GAAP net income was largely due to non-operational accounting measures.

— Non-GAAP net income, which excludes share-based compensation and change in fair value of non-cash derivative loss, was US$2.0 million, compared to non-GAAP net loss of US$4.3 million and non-GAAP net income of US$4.0 million in the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, respectively. The non-GAAP measures are described below and reconciled to the corresponding GAAP measure in the section below titled “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

— GAAP net income per ADS was US$0.01 both on basic and diluted basis, compared to a net loss of US$0.11 and a net income of US$0.08 per ADS in the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, respectively.

— Non-GAAP net income per ADS, which excludes share-based compensation and change in fair value of non-cash derivative loss, was US$0.05 both on basic and diluted basis, compared to a non-GAAP net loss of US$0.10 and a non-GAAP net income of US$0.10 per ADS in the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, respectively.

— Operating cash flow in this quarter was positive US$1.8 million.

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XsunX Announces Sales Contract to Supply 15 Megawatts of Its ASI-120 Thin Film Solar Modules

Filed under: XSNX — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:30 am

Tuesday November 25, 6:30 am ET

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — XsunX, Inc. (XSNX), a solar technology company engaged in the build-out of its multi-megawatt thin film photovoltaic (TFPV) solar manufacturing facilities in Oregon, announced today that it had entered into a two-year supply contract for the sale of fifteen (15) megawatts of it ASI-120 TFPV solar modules to a full service solar power company specializing in commercial and solar farm projects located in the California and Hawaiian markets.

“We are pleased to announce this sales agreement to supply 15 megawatts of our ASI-120 TFPV solar modules,” stated Tom Djokovich, CEO of XsunX. “This agreement represents approximately $37 million dollars in total contract value with an initial 5 megawatts valued at $13 million slated for delivery in calendar 2009, and the remaining 10 megawatt balance for delivery in calendar 2010. The recent passage of an eight year extension to the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit is spurring renewed vigor in solar project demand and we are working to fill our projected production capacity over the next several years with additional purchase agreements,” concluded Djokovich.

For more information about XsunX, please visit XsunX Web site: http://www.XsunX.com

Contact: For XsunX, Inc. Investor Relations Tel: (888) 797-4527

For XsunX, Inc. Media Relations Tel: (949) 330-8065

Solar Energy’s Sunny Side

Filed under: AAPL, AMAT, FSLR, PCG, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 12:00 am

Josh Suskewicz, 11.25.08, 12:00 AM EST

The credit crunch is putting the breaks on the plans of many solar companies. The survivors will be those with disruptive technologies.

Evolving energy industry dynamics continue to propel solar power up a truly compelling disruptive trajectory. As the signals become increasingly clear that solar will indeed be a significant energy technology, billions of dollars of investment have poured into solar technologies, and the pace and scale of innovation has exploded.

The money flowing into solar is funding the development of distinct–and soon-to-be competitive–technology classes. All the while, the value chain is maturing as businesses targeted at unique links in the solar power ecosystem spring up and established players integrate backward and forward.

The industry is still young, and has not yet settled on a dominant technology or business model. That leaves it particularly vulnerable to the current financial crisis (so vulnerable, in fact, that CNBC-TV stock picker Jim Cramer recently called solar “done”).

We still believe in solar’s potential, but recognize that the crunch will hinder the industry’s aggressive, capital-intensive expansion plans and could also lead to a reduction in the government subsidies that have supported the industry as it has grown. A shakeout is looking inevitable.

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November 24, 2008

Spire Corporation Reports Record Third Quarter 2008 Results

Filed under: SPIR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:11 pm

Monday November 24, 6:11 pm ET

BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Spire Corporation (SPIR), a global solar company providing turnkey solar factories and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic modules worldwide, today announced that revenues increased 78% in the third quarter of 2008 on strong sales of solar photovoltaic production equipment.

The Company reported revenues of $17.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2008, a 78% increase compared to $9.8 million for the same period in 2007. Net income was $445,000, or $0.05 per basic share for the three months ended September 30, 2008, compared with net income after extraordinary gain of $2.8 million or $0.33 per basic share for the same period in 2007. In 2007, the Company recorded a gain of $2.7 million from the sale of rights to utilize its trademark, income tax benefit of $884,000 and an extraordinary gain of $1.3 million, net of tax, on its equity investment in its joint venture, Gloria Spire Solar.

Revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 were $49.0 million, a 93% increase from $25.4 million for the same nine month period in 2007. Net loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 was $347,000 or $0.04 per basic share, compared with a net loss of $856,000, or $0.10 per basic share, for the same period in 2007.

Gross margin for the quarter was 34% compared with a gross margin of 14% for last year’s third quarter. Gross margin for the nine months of 2008 was 31% compared to 15% during the same period last year. Operating expenses for the quarter decreased to 31% of sales compared to 35% of last year’s third quarter sales.

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Solar stocks rise with broader market

Filed under: FSLR, JASO, SOLR, SPWR, TSL — Tags: , , — Jason @ 2:33 pm

Monday November 24, 2:33 pm ET

Solar stocks lift with market; analysts highly rate industry on strong US demand outlook

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of solar companies rose on Monday along with the broader market and after analysts predicted strong future demand for the industry in the U.S.

Shares of SunPower Corp. (SPWRA) rose $7.45, or 36.2 percent, to $28.04. Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said the solar cell and panel maker is well positioned to capitalize on strong long-term demand for photovoltaic modules in the U.S. utility market.

“In our view, SunPower’s track record for successfully developing and executing some of the world’s largest photovoltaic projects gives it a major edge when competing for utility contracts,” he said, adding that he reaffirms SunPower’s rating of “Strong Buy.”

Molchanov said the near-term global photovoltaic module demand is facing mounting macroeconomic challenges due to volatile currency swings, namely, the depreciation of the euro, and a tighter credit market, which is driving down average selling prices and squeezing gross margins across the industry.

Nonetheless, he said, “We take this opportunity to highlight a bright spot against the tough backdrop: one of the more durable sources of photovoltaic demand – the U.S. utility market.”

Molchanov rated other solar companies positively, including GT Solar International Inc. (SOLR) and JA Solar Holdings Co. (JASO), which he rated at “Strong Buy,” and First Solar Inc. (FSLR) and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL), which he rated at “Outperform.”

GT Solar shares rose 32 cents, or 12.9 percent, to $2.81. Shares of JA Solar gained 70 cents, or 33.3 percent, to $2.80.

Shares of First Solar climbed $14.59, or 15.7 percent, to $107.25. Trina Solar shares lifted $1.32, or 20.8 percent, to $7.68.

Meanwhile, on Wall St., the Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq climbed more than 4 percent while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained more than 5 percent in afternoon trading.

China Sunergy Provides Update on Cash Position and Liquidity

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

Monday November 24, 8:00 am ET

NANJING, China, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), (“China Sunergy” or the “Company”) a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, today provided an update on the Company’s cash position and liquidity as of September 30, 2008.

Despite challenging economic conditions, the Company continued to improve in liquidity in the third quarter. As at September 30, 2008, China Sunergy had cash and cash equivalents of US$122.1 million, with positive net operating cash flow. The Company also has access to a US$70M bank credit, untapped as of the end of September, and has seen no items which would interfere with the renewal of existing bank loans. Inventory in the third quarter was at a similar level compared to the second quarter, and the Company’s working capital ratio improved from 178% in the second quarter to 212% in the third quarter.

As scheduled, the Company will report full financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2008 on November, 25 2008 prior to US market open, and will host a conference call following the earnings release at 8:00 a.m, Eastern Time or 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time (Beijing / Hong Kong Time: November 25, 2008 at 9:00 p.m.).

BioSolars Production Plans Elevate Its BioBacksheetTM Technology to the Forefront of the Medias Attention

Filed under: BSRC — Tags: , — Jason @ 6:05 am

Monday November 24, 6:05 am ET

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioSolar, Inc. (BSRC) continues to garner interest from solar cell manufacturers and members of the media, including California Energy Circuit and PV Tech, following the company’s recent announcement that it is preparing for preproduction of its anticipated BioBacksheet™, a protective covering for photovoltaic solar cells made from renewable plant sources, rather than the expensive petroleum-based film currently in use.

Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar, will appear on Grok’s Science Radio Show on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 to discuss his company’s breakthrough technology and the potential cost savings it could yield for the solar industry. The show is heard on radio stations across the country; please visit the show’s website to view a complete list of stations and air times. A podcast will also be posted on the website in the days following the interview.

“BioSolar has significantly expanded its activity recently, and we are excited that our new developments and continued progress have not only generated interest from partners, manufacturers and analysts, but have brought our BioBacksheet™ to the forefront of the media’s attention as well,” said Dr. Lee.

In a recent article from RenewableEnergyWorld.com, Beacon Equity Research analyst Victor Sula noted that BioSolar’s material has “durability characteristics similar to conventional petroleum-based plastics” and noted that previous attempts to make a backsheet with bio-plastics were unsuccessful due to the material’s “low melting temperature and fragile molecular structure.”

The latest wave of media coverage follows the company’s official announcement of the technology behind the BioBacksheet at the SPIE Symposium on Solar Applications and Energy conference on August 12, 2008 which was reported on: GreenTech Media, CNET, Scientific American and United Press International, among others.

Yes! Solar, Inc. Sells First East Coast Franchise Territory to North Carolina Investment Group

Filed under: SOPW — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Monday November 24, 6:00 am ET

ROSEVILLE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Yes! Solar, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Solar Power, Inc. (SOPW), announced today that it has executed a franchise agreement with a group of private investors to open and operate the newest Yes! Solar SolutionsTM retail operation in Cary, North Carolina. The Yes! Solar Solutions energy outlet will be centrally located to serve the state’s north central Research Triangle Park Economic Region which is home to 1.9 million people. Site selection for the new retail energy outlet is underway. The investment group includes Stew Miller, Kathy Miller, and their general partner Jeff Fike, all of whom are residents of Cary, North Carolina. The group brings extensive and successful entrepreneurial, corporate business management, and construction experience to the venture.

The territory covers approximately 8,993 square miles and is home to more than 525,000 owner-occupied dwellings and many commercial enterprises. Electric rates in the area make it a prime market for solar relief. Additionally, the state of North Carolina currently offers a loan program featuring a 1% interest rate for 10 years on residential and commercial renewable energy systems up to $500,000. Combined with the 8-year extension of the federal investment tax credit of 30% and removal of the $2,000 cap on residential systems, North Carolina has become one of the region’s most solar friendly states and an attractive market for the company’s turnkey Yes! Solar Solutions’ offerings. “We are excited about this most recent agreement, as it adds to our growing national presence and provides our first location on the east coast. We are very happy to be adding a seasoned group of business leaders to our growing franchise network. We look forward to working with them as we build awareness for the Yes! Solar Solutions brand and the energy independence we can provide home and business owners across the nation,” said Todd Lindstrom, President of Yes! Solar, Inc.

Yes! Solar, Inc. operates a company-owned store in Roseville, California and has franchisee operations in the San Francisco bay area and Orange County, California. Demand for its franchise business opportunity is growing as witnessed at the recent Solar Power International `08 Conference in San Diego, California where the company hosted private seminars for groups of entrepreneurs and received numerous additional inquiries from prospects, all of whom are interested in gaining rapid entry into the renewable energy industry via Yes! Solar Solutions franchises. The Yes! Solar Solutions franchise operations is expected to make up the majority of the company’s national distribution network, serving both homeowners and small to medium-size commercial customers with clean, renewable photovoltaic solar electric systems that also provide a hedge against rising electricity costs.

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SunPower Completes 18-Megawatt Olivenza Solar Power Plant in Badajoz, Spain

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 3:05 am

Monday November 24, 3:05 am ET

MADRID, Spain, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB), a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced the completion of the 18-megawatt Olivenza solar electric power plant in Badajoz, Spain.

SunPower installed its proprietary SunPower® T20 Tracker solar tracking system at the site, covering a total of approximately 70 hectares. The SunPower Tracker follows the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing sunlight capture by up to 30 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems.

“SunPower has extensive experience building solar power installations and the technology to maximize energy production at the site. Their expertise was a key factor in the successful completion of this project. To date, production performance has exceeded expectations,” said Jose Tejada of 360 Corporate, a member of the consortium of equity investors who financed the project.

“SunPower’s innovative solar tracker technology is part of our turnkey solar solution,” said Mario Riello, European sales director of SunPower. “The SunPower Tracker solar power system is a proven and reliable solution for maximizing energy delivery, while optimizing land use and reducing related costs.”

Construction on the project was completed in the spring, and the plant was connected to the power grid by the regional government in July.

From the company’s Madrid office, SunPower has completed construction of more than 165 megawatts of Spanish power plants, and supports a network of local independent dealers installing commercial rooftop solar power systems throughout the country. Worldwide, SunPower has installed 500 solar power systems totaling more than 400 megawatts.

November 23, 2008

Energy Conversion Devices Selects Battle Creek Site for Its Next 120-Megawatt Solar Cell Manufacturing Plant

Filed under: ENER — Tags: , — Jason @ 12:00 pm

Bullet Arrow November 23, 2008

Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (ENER) , the leading global manufacturer of thin-film flexible solar laminate products for the building integrated and commercial rooftop markets, today announced Battle Creek, Mich., as the location for its new 120MW solar cell manufacturing facility. The company expects to begin construction on the 265,000 square-foot facility this fall and to be in production by the end of 2009. Energy Conversion Devices also has the option to build a second 120MW facility at the Battle Creek site with the same specifications.

Mark Morelli, ECD’s president and chief executive officer, said, “We continue to profitably grow our business, and there is a strong demand worldwide for our solar products. To meet this demand, we are expanding our capacity to 1GW by the end of fiscal year 2012. After careful analysis of a number of potential sites we have chosen Battle Creek for this new 120MW plant as we continue to select sites that offer access to qualified workforces and the ability to quickly begin construction and ramp production. We plan to produce solar cells in Battle Creek, which will then be finished into solar laminates or integrated into BIPV products at other locations around the world.”

“We look forward to becoming a part of the Battle Creek community, and we expect to create 350 local jobs within the next three years. I’d like to thank Calhoun County, the City of Battle Creek and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their help during the selection process and their ongoing support. The economic incentives offered by State, County and Battle Creek governments, and the support and assistance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) were key elements in our decision to choose Battle Creek, without which we would not have been able to expand in this community,” added Morelli.

The MEDC has offered Michigan Business Tax credits valued at $41.4 million over 20 years to win the company’s business. A $12.6 million federal Community Development Block Grant approved by the MEDC and awarded to Calhoun County will fund infrastructure improvements needed to support the new plant. The MEDC and city have supported a 15-year, tax-free Renaissance Zone and property tax abatements for the site, worth an additional $67 million to the company. With additional funding for training assistance, the state and local incentive package totals approximately $120 million for the Battle Creek expansion.

November 22, 2008

Polysilicon prices fall to earth

Filed under: CSIQ, DOW, GLW, JASO, SOLF, STP, TSL, WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:21 pm

Credit crisis hits biggest end-users, the solar-panel makers

By Laura Mandaro, MarketWatch
Last update: 1:21 p.m. EST Nov. 22, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Prices of polysilicon, already pressured by a coming supply glut, are tumbling fast as the credit crisis drives down demand for the solar panels that are the biggest users of the raw material.

polysilicon-projectionsPolysilicon — a sand-derived crystalline material that helps turn sunlight into electricity — has fallen swiftly on the spot market in past months, dropping to about $200 per kilogram from $450 to $500 earlier this year, say analysts and solar-module makers.

And they are likely to fall even further as a flood of new polysilicon supply makes its way out of production, encouraging solar-panel makers to renegotiate contracts that account for the bulk of their materials purchases.

Jeff Osborne of Thomas Weisel Partners expects spot prices to sink below $100 by the end of 2009 and to a $50 to $80 range in 2010, or roughly the same levels as prices in long-term contracts.

Such a drop marks a stark reversal in the cost situation solar-panel makers have faced for the past four years, when polysilicon prices surged and would-be buyers often had trouble finding enough product.

(more…)

November 21, 2008

Trina Solar Adopts Shareholder Rights Plan

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

Friday November 21, 4:47 pm ET

CHANGZHOU, China, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Trina Solar Limited (TSL; “Trina Solar” or the “Company”), a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, today announced that its Board of Directors has adopted a shareholder rights plan (the “Rights Plan”). The Rights Plan is designed to protect the best interests of Trina Solar and its shareholders.

One ordinary share purchase right (a “Right”) will be distributed with respect to each ordinary share of Trina Solar outstanding at the close of business on December 1, 2008. Initially, the Rights will be evidenced by the certificates representing outstanding ordinary shares, and no separate Rights certificates will be distributed. Subject to limited exceptions, the Rights will be exercisable if a person or group acquires 15% or more of the Company’s voting securities or announces a tender offer for 15% or more of the voting securities (“Trigger Event”). The exercise price is set at US$1.86 per Right to purchase one ordinary share (each American depositary share represents 100 ordinary shares), subject to adjustment when there is a Trigger Event. The Company’s Board of Directors will be entitled to redeem the Rights at US$0.00001 per Right at any time before a person or group has acquired 15% or more of the Company’s voting securities.

The Rights are intended to enable all of the Company’s shareholders to realize the long-term value of their investment in the Company. The Rights are designed to ensure that the Company’s shareholders receive fair treatment in the event of any proposed takeover of the Company and to encourage anyone seeking to acquire the Company to negotiate with the Board of Directors prior to attempting a takeover. The Rights are not being distributed in response to any specific effort to acquire control of the Company.

Canadian Solar cuts 4Q forecast on weak demand

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 10:17 am

Friday November 21, 10:17 am ET

Canadian Solar lowers 4th-quarter outlook on weak demand and credit market woes

NEW YORK (AP) — Solar cell maker Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) on Friday lowered its fourth-quarter revenue forecast, citing declining demand, tight credit markets and its plans to reduce year-end shipments.

The company estimates fourth-quarter revenue between $70 million and $85 million. It slashed its fiscal 2008 revenue forecast to between $650 million and $750 million from an earlier range of $850 million to $970 million.

Analysts have forecast much higher quarterly sales of $270.1 million and full-year revenue of $901.9 million.

“We are operating in a challenging macroeconomic environment with a very volatile foreign exchange situation, which continues to impact our bottom line,” said Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive. The company said it has hedged against currency risk, which will help offset the negative effect of the stronger dollar against the euro in the 2008 fourth quarter and the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

Canadian Solar also said it is focusing on preserving cash amid the current credit environment and therefore will slow or delay capacity expansions, pending further evaluation of supply and demand. The company further cited uncertain project and customer financing as well as softening solar market demand in Europe and the U.S.

The company said its cash position is sound, and it expects to maintain about $100 million in cash in the fourth quarter with $40 million available in unused credit lines by the end of period. It is “actively negotiating” more credit facilities with local banks.

“We have delayed our capital expenditures temporarily in order to conserve cash as the company currently has both ample capacity and wafer supply to match the current market demand,” said Chief Financial Officer Arthur Chien. “We do not foresee the need for additional capital expenditures until the first or second quarter of next year.”

For 2009, Canadian Solar, which operates manufacturing plants in China, maintained its guidance of 500 to 550 megawatts.

Separately Friday, the company reported a jump in third-quarter earnings to $11.1 million, or 31 cents per share, from $522,000, or 2 cents per share, during the same period last year. The company cited increased production and sales of low-cost products which helped strengthen margins for the quarter.

But results widely missed analyst expectations of 54 cents per share.

In morning trading, shares tumbled 49 cents, or 13 percent, to $3.29, having earlier reached a new all-time low of $3.11.

EMCORE Deploys First Concentrator Solar Photovoltaic System in China with the XinAo Group

Filed under: EMKR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 10:08 am

Friday November 21, 10:08 am ET

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — EMCORE Corporation (EMKR) a leading provider of semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber-optic, satellite and terrestrial solar power markets, announced today its first deployment of a concentrator photovolataics (CPV) system in China with the XinAo Group, one of China’s largest energy companies. As part of an earlier agreement, the 50 kilowatt (kW) test and evaluation system is fully installed and operational, and is producing power in accordance with specifications. EMCORE and XinAo continue to have discussions regarding the possible construction of a joint-owned plant in China, to manufacture CPV systems designed and certified by EMCORE for its innovative coal gasification project and the Chinese market.

Dr. John Iannelli, Corporate Chief Technology Officer and General Manager of EMCORE’s Solar Power Division stated, “We are pleased to introduce the first CPV terrestrial power system in China in partnership with the XinAo Group and look forward to pursuing other solar power opportunities in China’s emerging renewable energy market.”

In early October, EMCORE was also granted access permits for its 850-kW commercial solar park installation in the Extremedora region of Spain. In addition to these two deployments, EMCORE expects several other pilot sites to be deployed by the end of the year.

EMCORE’s deployed CPV systems are powered by our industry leading high-efficiency compound semiconductor-based multi-junction solar cells that operate with 500x concentration. EMCORE continues its investment to develop a next-generation system design with enhanced performance (including a module efficiency of approximately 30%) and much improved cost structure. The new design (Generation III) is scheduled to be in volume production by the second half of calendar 2009. EMCORE has recently responded to several RFPs from public utility companies using Gen-III products as its baseline and expects to receive positive feedback on these proposals before the end of 2008.

About the XinAo Group

XinAo Group, headquartered in Langfang, China, is a leading company in clean energy integration solutions led by technology innovation, focusing on energy business, coal chemical and biochemical. It has more than 100 subsidiaries and offices in over 60 cities in China and in other countries including Australia, UK and the USA.

Canadian Solar Reports Third Quarter 2008 Results

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Friday November 21, 6:00 am ET

TORONTO, Canada, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ —

Q308 Highlights
— Q308 net revenues of $252.4 million, up 160% from Q307 net revenue of $97.4 million; and up 18.7% sequentially from Q208 net revenues of $212.6 million
— Q308 gross margin of 15.5%, consistent with Q208 of 15.8%
— Q308 GAAP net income per diluted share of $0.31 including foreign exchange loss of $17.3 million and offset by change in fair value of derivatives of $7.4 million; compared to Q208 GAAP net income per diluted share of $0.36.
— Q308 non-GAAP net income per diluted share of $0.41, which excludes charges related to stock-based compensation.
— Q308 shipments of approximately 60 MW, up 27.3% from Q208 shipments of 47.1 MW
— Q308 shipments included about 10MW of proprietary low-cost e-Module products

Canadian Solar Inc. (“the Company”, “CSI” or “we”) (CSIQ) today reported financial information for the third quarter 2008.

Net revenues for the quarter were $252.4 million, compared to net revenues of $97.4 million for the third quarter of 2007 and $212.6 million for the second quarter of 2008.

Net income for the quarter on a GAAP basis was $11.1 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, compared to $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2007 and $10.5 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2008. The non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $0.41 per diluted share and excludes stock based compensation.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of CSI, commented: “We are pleased with our top line, gross margin and operating income results for the quarter. These results directly reflected our conservative approach to the business and our balanced financial management. This marks our sixth consecutive quarter of sequential top-line growth. We have successfully ramped up the production of our proprietary low-cost e-Modules products, which helped us to maintain our gross margin in the quarter. We are, however, operating in a challenging macroeconomic environment with a very volatile foreign exchange situation, which continues to impact our bottom line. In July, we took measures to hedge against our currency risk, which we believe will help to offset the impact of Euro against US Dollar foreign exchange fluctuations in Q4 and in Q1 2009.”

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San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation Dedicates 185-kilowatt SunPower Solar System

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 5:00 am

Friday November 21, 5:00 am ET

First Commercial Solar-Electric Installation on Downtown Building

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SunPower Corporation (SPWRA, SPWRB), a San Jose-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, Helio Micro Utility and the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation (The Tech), today joined with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and other local officials to dedicate a 185-kilowatt solar-electric system that will be showcased at The Tech. This is the first commercial solar system on a downtown San Jose building.

“Solar power is integral to San Jose’s Green Vision,” said Reed. “The partnership between The Tech, SunPower and Helio Micro Utility demonstrates the type of efforts we’d like to see throughout the city as San Jose implements its clean tech strategy with a goal of becoming a world leader in solar technology. I am pleased to dedicate this system and encourage other companies and organizations to consider moving to clean, renewable energy.”

As an alternative to an outright purchase of the commercial system itself, The Tech will buy electricity for the facility from Helio Micro Utility’s Green Energy Community Investment Fund, a fund jointly owned with Citi Community Capital. The Fund will also own the associated renewable energy credits and other environmental attributes, which it may retire or sell. The electricity will be competitively priced against retail rates, providing The Tech with a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices.

“Solar technology is no longer just blue-sky research. It’s real, it has taken hold, and The Tech is yet again leading the way in demonstrating its very tangible benefits,” said Peter Friess, president of The Tech. “We are proud to partner with SunPower to be the first downtown City owned building to host this significant solar array.”

Designed and installed by SunPower, the system features SunPower® T10 Solar Roof Tiles, equipped with SunPower solar panels, the most efficient on the market today. T10 Solar Roof Tiles are non-roof penetrating and tilt at a 10-degree angle to increase energy capture. The system, which is located atop the roof of Parkside Hall, a facility adjacent to The Tech’s main structure, will generate enough electricity to match approximately 10 percent of The Tech’s electricity use.

“We are pleased to partner with The Tech to bring affordable, clean, reliable solar power to a key destination point in downtown San Jose,” said Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower Corp. “The high-efficiency SunPower solar system that The Tech is hosting on its roof will maximize the amount of energy produced within the limited roof space, enhancing both the environmental and financial benefits.”

About Helio Micro Utility

Helio Micro Utility (HmU) is the green power pioneer seeking to create the world’s largest clean energy utility, distributed across millions of roofs. HmU contracts with solar installers to build and maintain solar power systems for commercial, residential, and community energy users. HmU customers Buy Power not Panels(TM), with HmU buying the panels instead and owning the complete solar installation. This simplifies the process for energy users to switch from “brown” energy to “green.” Helio Micro Utility is headquartered in Berkeley, CA. For more information please visit http://www.heliomu.com.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation

The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Tech — located in the Capital of Silicon Valley — is a non-profit educational resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through educational programs, the annual Tech Challenge team competition for youth, and the internationally recognized Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum of Innovation celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum of Innovation, visit http://www.thetech.org.

November 20, 2008

Solar ETFs Still Slipping On Falling Oil

Filed under: ASTI, CSIQ, ESLR, FSLR, JASO, KWT, LDK, SOL, SPWR, STP, TAN, TSL — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:24 pm

Thursday November 20, 6:24 pm ET
Trang Ho
Investor’s Business Daily

Uncertainty in demand from Italy, slowing U.S. new-home starts, a weakening euro, declining oil prices, a sharp drop in solar panel prices and investor flight to safety have cast a dark cloud over the once white-hot solar energy ETFs.

Market Vectors Solar Energy (KWT)and Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (TAN) have tumbled 73% and 74% from their May highs. They are textbook examples of how the higher stocks fly, the harder they fall.

By comparison, the S&P 500 has fallen 45%, and IBD’s oil & gas integrated industry group has sunk 56%.

Both ETFs on Tuesday undercut their previous lows from October’s sell-off and gapped lower Wednesday, when benchmark crude oil fell to $49.76 a barrel. That is the lowest price for oil since May 2005.

Dim forward guidance from ETF portfolio components JA Solar (JASO) and SunPower (SPWRA) last week alerted the market to more possible disappointments from companies reporting this week: ReneSola (SOL), LDK Solar (LDK), Trina Solar (TSL), Suntech Power Holdings (STP) and Canadian Solar (CSIQ).

But despite being 71% off its high, prospects remain bright for the largest company in the sector: First Solar (FSLR). It raised its fiscal 2008 revenue outlook in late October.

JPMorgan Securities initiated coverage of First Solar on Tuesday with an overweight rating. The company has significant manufacturing scale and a strong balance sheet, and will better weather the turbulence facing the solar energy industry, analyst Christopher Blansett wrote in a client note.

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Suntech cuts forecast, shares fall to all-time low

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 1:06 pm

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:06pm EST

* Lowers full-year revenue outlook on falling euro

* Q3 rev up 53.7 pct at $594.4 million

* Net income $55.9 mln, or $0.33 per ADS, misses Wall St

* Stock down over 30 percent

NEW YORK (Reuters) – China’s Suntech Power Holdings Co (STP), the world’s largest solar module maker, reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and cut its full-year sales forecast because of the weak global economy, sending its shares tumbling by more than 30 percent to an all-time low.

Still, the company’s sales for the third quarter jumped by more than 50 percent as demand for the clean energy systems continued to grow.

“The problem here is the banks. The customer wants more modules, but they have to have liquidity,” Chairman and Chief Executive Dr. Zhengrong Shi told an analysts conference call. “We have to separate the market demand and the financial (situation).”

Third-quarter net income rose to 55.9 million, or 33 cents per American Depositary Share, from $53.3 million, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier, and well below the 42 cents per share analysts had on average expected, according to Reuters Estimates.

Margins suffered from the sharp 20 percent drop in the euro against the dollar and a slight increase in the cost of silicon wafers.

The company’s average selling price for its modules is expected to drop 17 percent in the fourth quarter, mostly due to the weakness in the euro, Shi said.

Suntech forecast 2008 revenue at $1.85 billion to $1.87 billion, down from a previous range of $2.05 billion to $2.15 billion, because of the rapid weakening of the euro and unstable credit markets.

Deferment of customer orders also prompted the company to trim its full-year shipment target to 490 megawatts from 550 MW. Suntech is currently holding contracts to deliver 600 MW of modules in 2009.

The deferment in some fourth-quarter sales would allow the company to upgrade more of its production lines as part of its “Pluto” program that produces higher efficiency solar modules.

Because of the global economic woes, Shi said the Wuxi, China-based company had undertaken a number of cost-cutting measures, including renegotiating its polysilicon contracts.

Prices for polysilicon on the Chinese spot market, which accounts for about half of Suntech’s supplies, had declined by more than 50 percent in the past month to less than $200 per kilogram, he said.

Suntech shares sank 32 percent, or $2.82, to $6.11 on the New York Stock Exchange, bringing its year-to-date loss to more than 92 percent.

(Reporting by Christopher Kaufman and Matt Daily; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Dave Zimmerman)

JA Solar and BP Intend to Form Long-Term Agreement

Filed under: JASO — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 10:31 am

Thursday November 20, 10:31 am ET

HEBEI, China, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (JASO) and BP Alternative Energy Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of BP p.l.c. (BP) today announced their intention to jointly develop and market part of their solar photovoltaic product portfolio over the next five years.

The definitive commercial agreement is expected to be entered into before year end. JA Solar is expected to contribute its cost-efficient manufacturing and rapid execution capabilities, plus its access to third party silicon and/or wafers, while BP is expected to bring its access to its own silicon and/or wafer supply, provide access to its global customer portfolio, and leverage its strong brand and sales and marketing capabilities in key markets.

“Our two companies are in a strong position to help lead the way in achieving grid parity more rapidly and accelerating the worldwide adoption of solar photovoltaic solutions. We share this common goal,” said Samuel Yang, JA Solar’s chief executive officer. “This agreement further demonstrates JA Solar’s capability of providing low-cost and high quality manufacturing in the industry and is expected to give us market access through BP’s well- established global brand and marketing networks. The proposed alliance is a good fit and is intended to allow us to build on each others’ strengths in a mutually beneficial way,” he commented.

About BP Solar

BP Solar is a global company with over 2300 employees. BP Solar designs, manufactures and markets products which use the sun’s energy to generate electricity for a wide range of applications in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. With over 30 years of experience and installations in more than 160 countries, BP Solar is one of the world’s leading solar companies. BP Solar has manufacturing plants in India, Spain, the USA and China. BP Solar invests in photovoltaic research and development.

Suntech Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 6:30 am

Thursday November 20, 6:30 am ET

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, NOV. 20 /PRNewswire/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), the world’s largest photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2008.

Third Quarter Highlights(1)

— Third quarter 2008 total net revenues grew 53.7% year-over-year to $594.4 million.
— On a consolidated basis, GAAP gross margin increased to 21.6% for the third quarter 2008 compared to 20.7% for the third quarter 2007. Non-GAAP(2) gross margin reached 21.8% for the third quarter 2008, compared to 21.4% for the third quarter 2007.
— GAAP net income for the third quarter was $55.9 million or $0.33 per diluted American Depository Share (ADS). On a non-GAAP basis, Suntech’s net income for the third quarter was $60.3 million or $0.35 per diluted ADS. Each ADS represents one ordinary share.
— Suntech’s PV cell production capacity was 750MW at the end of the third quarter 2008.
— Due to the depreciation of the Euro versus the U.S. dollar combined with the impact of tighter credit markets, Suntech has revised its full year 2008 revenue guidance from a range of $2.05 billion to $2.15 billion to a new expected range of $1.85 billion to $1.87 billion. Suntech has revised its full year 2008 PV product shipment target from 550MW to approximately 490MW.

“Our third quarter performance was driven by healthy demand for our solar products, resulting in strong top-line growth that exceeded the high end of our guidance,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Chairman and CEO. “However, the rapid weakening of the Euro relative to the USD over the past two months combined with the unstable credit markets has created a challenging environment in the fourth quarter of 2008. This has resulted in a faster than expected sequential decline in sales prices and the deferment of some customer orders, which will significantly impact our profitability in the fourth quarter of 2008.”

“Due to these near-term challenges, we have been implementing a range of measures to prudently manage this temporary downturn. These include the minimization of cash outlays, renegotiation of high priced, short-term silicon contracts, optimization of our supply chain and production, and the enhancement of currency risk management. We believe that these steps will enable us to weather the short term market disturbances and we expect our profitability will steadily improve in 2009 as multiple long term, low cost silicon contracts initiate delivery.”

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November 19, 2008

Hoku Secures Key Materials for Polysilicon Production

Filed under: HOKU — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 4:27 pm

Wednesday November 19, 4:27 pm ET

POCATELLO, ID–(MARKET WIRE)–Nov 19, 2008 — Hoku Materials, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU), established to manufacture and sell polysilicon for the solar market, today announced the signing of an HCl supply agreement with BHS Acquisitions, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of BHS Marketing, Inc., and a leading chemical supplier with bulk liquid transloading facilities in Nampa, Idaho, that are serviced by Union Pacific Railroad. BHS’s customers include Alcoa and Rio Tanta (Alcan).

HCl and metallurgical grade silicon are the two primary starting materials for the manufacture of trichlorosilane, which is the key raw material for the production of solar grade polysilicon using the Siemens process. The supply contract with BHS, coupled with the metallurgical grade silicon contract with Polymet, mean that Hoku has now secured enough key starting material to operate the plant into 2010.

According to the terms of the agreement, BHS will supply Hoku with guaranteed amounts of HCl for eight years beginning in 2009. The guaranteed annual amount of HCl is expected to be enough to support the continuous operation of Hoku’s trichlorosilane plant, which would enable the production of approximately 4,000 metric tons of polysilicon per year.

“We are pleased to be working with BHS,” said Dustin Shindo, chairman and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific. “Their operations in Idaho can receive and store liquid chemicals from railroad shipments, which will improve our overall supply chain logistics. In addition to being the ideal supplier of HCl for Hoku, we are pleased that we could find a supplier based in the State of Idaho so that we may further support the local economy.”

“BHS is excited to partner with Hoku as their long-term HCl supplier,” said Michael Merlo, Vice President of BHS Marketing, Inc. “As a long-time supplier of industrial chemicals in the Pacific Northwest, our growth into the solar sector is a natural fit for us. Hoku is a leading company in this area, and we look forward to working with them.”

LDK Solar Reports Financial Results for Third Quarter 2008

Filed under: LDK — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:15 am

Wednesday November 19, 6:15 am ET

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (“LDK Solar”; LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today reported its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2008.

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

Third Quarter 2008 Financial Highlights:

— Revenue of $541.8 million, up 22.7% quarter-over-quarter;
— Annualized wafer production capacity reached 1.2 GW by end the quarter;
— Signed 14 long-term wafer supply agreements year-to-date;
— Total wafer shipments increased 31.8% to 252.7 MW during the quarter;
— Gross profit margin for the quarter was 22.7%; and
— Completed a follow-on offering of 4.8 million American depositary shares (“ADSs”), further enhancing LDK Solar’s resources for accelerated expansion plans.

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 were $541.8 million, up 22.7% from $441.7 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2008, and up 241.4% from $158.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

Gross profit for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $122.9 million, up 9.5% from $112.3 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2008, and up 151.3% from $48.9 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Gross profit margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was 22.7% compared to 25.4% in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 and 30.8% in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Operating profit for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $107.8 million, up 7.5% from $100.3 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2008, and up 149.6% from $43.2 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Operating profit margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was 19.9% compared to 22.7% in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 and 27.2% in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

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