Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mind the Gap: LDK Solar and Cheap Silicon

LDK was recently down $0.35 at $8.94. From Environmental Capital:
LDK Solar’s recent travails provide a vivid illustration of why profitability is so elusive in the solar sector.

Shares in the solar wafer manufacturer have lost about 18% this week, after the company said that demand is stronger than expected but revenues are weaker than expected. It’s the flip side of a big increase in polysilicon production capacity around the world—prices for solar power’s raw material are going south.

“It indicates that pricing is deteriorating faster than expected,” said Stuart Bush, an analyst with RBC Capital Management, in an interview.

Cheaper silicon is good for the sector as a whole—it helps make solar panels more cost-competitive with traditional power sources. But for companies like LDK, cheaper silicon prices are slamming profitability....MORE