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The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: July 15

Stocks in this article: C GS AMSC TREX LL UNCFF.PK IITSF.PK DB

5. American Not-So-Superconductor

Shares of American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC), which makes electrical systems for wind farms, fell 5% this past Monday and another 5% on Tuesday. The stock is down nearly 40% since mid-April and more than 70% year-to-date.

Sorry guys, but that's not "super" at all. In fact, that sucks.

American Superconductor was hammered (again) after announcing it will be restating results lower for its second and third quarters of 2010. The company said revenue for the fiscal quarters ending in September and December 2010 will be reduced to $98 million and $43 million, respectively, from previously reported amounts of $101.5 million and $114.2 million.

Why is American Superconductor subject to such a massive restatement?

Well, it used to have a policy where it recognized a sale after its customers received shipments but before they paid their bills. Now, the company says that "revenues associated with unpaid shipments to certain Chinese customers" will not be recognized until paid.

Oh please. Don't tantalize us with talk about "certain Chinese customers." We all know the mystery customer is Sinovel Wind. And you know them better than anybody else since they accounted for almost three quarters of your sales last year before dumping you in favor of their own subsidiary, Dalian Guotong Electric.

Look, we all remember what happened in April when the stock took its last big dive. Sinovel refused to accept a shipment and ducked out on a $56 million tab that American Superconductor had already booked.

The company said Monday that it didn't do any business with Sinovel during the first quarter of 2011, so American Superconductor seems to be smartening up somewhat. However, they would be much better off if they stopped wasting everybody's time playing guessing games, and spent their energy replacing Sinovel's lost revenue.

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