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Solar Stocks That May Not Survive to 2014

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Energy Conversion Devices (ENER)
Shares of Energy Conversion Devices are up 469% this year. Yeah, you read that right. Of course, for a stock that began the year trading at 20 cents, a big swing on the heels of solar's rally isn't surprising. Yet the question remains, will Energy Conversion Devices even exist as a company a year from now?

Energy Conversion Devices continues to lose money on every panel it sells and while the company has done a good job of limiting cash burn, it's got a big financial High Noon still on the horizon in 2013, when holders of convertible notes come calling. The fact that the convertibles aren't due until 2013 means that the company can probably survive 2012, but that's still not a whole lot of breathing room.

"You can make a credible case they can make it through 2012, but the problem is if they can't refinance the converts," Simko said.

Energy Conversion Devices has a $1.50+ per watt cost structure in a world of sub-$1 pricing per watt.

Simko said the company is in a bit of a Catch-22, and its executives have said so. "To get where they are cost competitive requires investment and to invest they need to refinance the converts, but the bond holders aren't going to let equity holders off the hook," Simko said.

"Energy Conversion is about as volatile a solar stock as you get, and the stock quadrupling in value is a little crazy with no positive outlook," the analyst said.

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