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Solar Losers: Energy Conversion Devices

Energy Conversion Devices posts its third-straight quarterly loss, and at a level exceeding the most bearish estimates.



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Energy Conversion Devices


has been a solar dog for some time now, so the fact that its after-market earnings on Monday were the third consecutive quarterly loss for the thin-film company was hardly a surprise.

Energy Conversion Devices reported a loss of $39 million, or 92 cents a share, compared with earnings of $13 million, or 31 cents a share, last year.

The loss from Energy Conversion Devices in its fiscal second quarter 2010 was even worse than the expected losses from solar analysts who have been bearish on Energy Conversion's short-term outlook.

The consensus estimated loss was 43 cents a share for the second quarter. However, even the most bearish analysts at Wedbush Securities and Cowen & Co. had only expected losses in the range of 64 cents to 65 cents.

Energy Conversion Devices has been plagued by factory underutilization and remains in a weakened position where its cash has been converted into an inventory backlog.

In fact, analyst Rob Brown at Craig-Hallum does not expect Energy Conversion Devices to be profitable in any 2010 quarter.

Energy Conversion Devices shares were declining early in Tuesday trading, down more than 8%.

How much further can the Energy Conversion Devices shares fall? The solar company was trading at a 52-week low before Tuesday trading began, however, Energy Conversion Devices hit a new 52-week low early in trading on Tuesday morning just above $8.

Energy Conversion Devices has been on a steady share decline all year, from a 52-week high of more than $30 last February.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.


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