Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sector Snap: Solar Cell Makers

Associated Press 05.30.07, 12:10 PM ET

Shares of Chinese solar cell makers declined in early trading Wednesday following disappointing quarterly reports from two companies. Companies also took a hit from a drop in the Chinese stock market.

Suntech Power Holdings Co. (nyse: STP - news - people ) declined 71 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $33.85, as investors expressed concerns with a drop in the company's first-quarter margins, which fell to 19.9 percent from 30.1 percent.

However, analysts said they still like the stock due to growth prospects. The company's adjusted profit and sales beat estimates.

Solarfun Power Holdings Co. gave up $2.12, or 17 percent, to $10.30, after the company said it swung to a first-quarter loss due to higher expenses.

The company also cut its 2007 sales outlook.

On Wednesday, the Chinese markets tumbled after China's government raised a tax on stock trading to curb a market boom amid concerns about a possible bubble, adding further pressure to the sector.

American shares of other Chinese solar cell makers also lost ground. JA Solar Holdings Co. gave up 58 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $22.46, Trina Solar Ltd. fell $3.52, or 7.3 percent, to $45.01, and China Sunergy Co. shed 65 cents, or 5 percent, to $12.25.

Meanwhile, similar U.S.-based companies also declined. Evergreen Solar Inc. (nasdaq: ESLR - news - people ) declined 13 cents to $8.32, while First Solar Inc. lost 81 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $66.32. Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (nasdaq: ENER - news - people ) lost 31 cents to $33.63.

Bucking the trend, SunPower Corp. (nasdaq: SPWR - news - people ) rose 8 cents to $52.95.