Updated with recent stock movements.



) -- There's no way to sugar coat this one. Another Chinese solar company bit the dust in the second quarter, this time due to a bigger-than-expected inventory write-down.

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And investors are continuing to make

LDK Solar


pay on Friday, sending shares down to $9.03 in morning trading, a drop of $2.20 from its Wednesday closing price of $11.23.

Wednesday, after the market close, LDK Solar reported a net loss of $216.9 million, or $2.03 per ADS, in the second quarter.

Results were impacted by what is now a somewhat familiar refrain in the solar industry: the plummeting market value for solar wafers in recent months forced LDK Solar to write-down $175.8 million in inventory, though there are signs that sector-wide demand has picked up of late.

That was off company projections in July when the solar concern said it expected a write-down between $150 million to $160 million. LDK Solar also included a $16.7 million loss on firm purchase commitments of polysilicon materials.

For a comparison, the company posted $149.5 million profit in the year-earlier quarter, or $1.29 per ADS.

Gross margins, which stood at 25.4% a year ago and came to 1.7% during the first quarter, fell through the floor this quarter in coming to negative 90%.

Revenues also fell in kind by 48% from the year-earlier period, landing at $228.3 million. Still, a 21% jump in wafer shipments remained a tiny bright spot.

A group of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected LDK Solar to lose 91 cents on $236.1 million in revenue.

"Our results for the second quarter of 2009 reflect the prevailing operational challenges for the solar industry," LDK Solar CEO Xiaofend Peng said in a particularly understated statement.

Peng added that recent encouraging signs for solar wafer demand and diversified growth opportunities in Europe leave the company feeling hopeful. Just last month, LDK Solar announced a deal to

build solar plants in Italy.

Though that upbeat language didn't stop LDK Solar from guiding third quarter revenues below many expectations, saying that sales should total between $240 million to $270 million.

Yesterday, both


(SOL) - Get Report


JA Solar


joined LDK Solar in net loss-land.

ReneSola Solar and

JA Solar said revenue fell by over 50%, for each.

On the solar stock front,

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get Report

was losing 97 cents, or 0.7%, at $144.02 in the afternoon.


( SPWRA) was down 2.2%, while

Suntech Power


was slipping 7.3%.

-- Reported by Sung Moss in New York

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