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Solar Winners: Hoku, GT Solar, Spire

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Some of the smaller companies on the solar landscape ended Tuesday's market session as the only solar players with gains on the day. The biggest news of the day came from one of the smallest players, with $70 million market cap company Hoku Scientific (symbol) leaving the rest of the solar sector with burn marks from its whopping 21% gain to go along with an astronomical increase in trading, from 83,000 on average to over 1 million shares traded today.

The only two other solar firms in positive territory on Tuesday were GT Solar (SOLR)and Spire Corporation (SPIR).

GT Solar, much larger than either Spire or Hoku with a $740 million market cap, was up 1.4% on the day and also saw a big spike in trading volume -- 1.8 million shares traded on Tuesday versus an average of $754,000. There is a logic that could dictate why GT Solar moved up on a day when Hoku's news about a plant in Idaho received such extensive play.

Adam Krop, an analyst at Ardour Capital Management, said while he would not buy into this theory himself, investors could make a correlation between Hoku and GT Solar along this line of thinking: if the outlook is good for the Hoku polysilicon plant construction in Idaho, Hoku might need more equipment, just the type of equipment that GT Solar makes. However, knowledgeable investors know that Hoku has an existing agreement with German company GEC/MSA, which still includes a backlog of 10 pre-ordered reactors.

"If this did trigger the run-up in GT Solar today, I wouldn't buy into it and it's at a fair value of between $5-$6," Krop said. GT Solar closed at $5.15 on Tuesday.

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