NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AscentSolarTechnologies  (ASTI) stock is popping by 20% to 16 cents in early-morning trading on Tuesday, after the company announced a new patent.

The company announced that it was issued the second of two U.S. patents related to its solar manufacturing process.

"Ascent secures an avenue of intellectual property rights covering multiple opportunities for improved processes and performance of the company's energy products," Joseph Armstrong, founder and CTO of Ascent Solar Technologies, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The patent will lead to significant application opportunities for Ascent's aerospace and consume products, Armstrong said in the statement.

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Based in Thornton, CO, Ascent specializes in developing thin-film photovoltaic modules as an alternative to solar panels.

Separately, recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES as a Sell with a ratings score of E+. This is based on several weak investment measures, which should drive this stock to significantly underperform the majority of stocks that we rate. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • ASTI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 87.94%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES continued to lose money by earning -$5.91 versus -$6.70 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income increased by 50.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$12.25 million to -$6.11 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$5.04 million or 37.43% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.34%.
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ASTI