(Trina Solar story corrected for outstanding share, stock split info)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Trina Solar ( TSL) will offer 7.9 million shares, according to a statement from the Chinese solar company released after the market close on Wednesday.

Trina shares are down more than 8.5% on the news -- no surprise that shares are down, given that secondary offerings translate as share dilution for existing shareholders -- though the extent of the drop in Trina shares is significant.

Trina's trading level of close to 4.5 million shares at midday Thursday was well above its normal trading level of 3 million shares.

It's no surprise that Trina is pursuing a secondary offering either, and it's likely to be the first of many secondary offerings from the solar sector in 2010. Analysts said coming into the year that given the financing needs of the sector, secondary offerings were likely to figure largely in capital markets activity in 2010.

The 7.9 million shares represent 50 ordinary shares, and Trina is granting underwriters an option to purchase up to additional 1.2 million shares. If oversubscribed, the offering would equal approximately 13% of Trina's outstanding shares based on the 68 million shares outstanding figure.

Trina said it will use the net proceeds of the offering to expand manufacturing facilities for the production of PV cells and modules to the tune of $100 million, and expand research and development, including the expansion of its research and development center, to the tune of $50 million. The remainder of the proceeds will be used for downstream projects and general corporate purposes.

Credit Suisse Securities, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays Capital are acting as bookrunners.

Trina had one of the best fourth quarter earnings reports, setting a record in gross margins.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Trina completed a 2-to-1 stock split, intended to increase liquidity and trading of its stock. Trina has 68 million shares outstanding after last year's split, according to industry sources.

The solar sector has been beset with plenty of negative press since the start of 2010, and a spate of secondary offerings could exert more pressure on solar shorts in the short-term.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

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