WUXI, China (


) -- Stop me if you've heard this one before: A solar-module maker reports a drop in earnings due to pricing pressure. Yet the same company is able to increase shipments sequentially and is seeing signs of returning demand.

On Thursday,

TST Recommends

Suntech Power


repeated those familiar themes in an earnings announcement that offered a mixed bag for investors.

American depositary shares in the company fell into the red by the afternoon, down 54 cents, or 3.3%, at $15.86.

For the second quarter, Suntech said its net sales dropped to $321 million during the second quarter from $480.2 million in the year-earlier quarter. Despite that, CEO Zhengrong Shi said in a statement that improving demand and better credit markets powered sequential shipment growth.

Net income dropped to $10 million, or 6 cents per ADS, from $52.3 million, or 31 cents per ADS, in the same quarter last year.

Estimates from Thomson Reuters anticipated the company earnings 2 cents per share on $343.1 million in revenue.

Suntech also slashed its 2009 shipment guidance to around 600 megawatts from an earlier estimate ranging between 600 to 700 megawatts.

Around the sector,


(SOL) - Get Report

was soaring after the company announced a new deal to build a solar plant in China. ADS's were bidding at $5.85 after gaining more than 19% by the afternoon.

Shares of

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get Report

were up $1.23 at $132.66, while shares of

Canadian Solar

(CSIQ) - Get Report

were adding 57 cents to $16.56.


( SPWRA) was also up 2.2% in the afternoon.

-- Reported by Sung Moss in New York

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