Solar Stock Winners: GT Solar

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of solar equipment maker GT Solar ( SOLR) hit their second 52-week high in the past three days on Friday morning, after the solar equipment maker announced the first order for its new ingot furnace system, a $37.5 million deal with South Korea's Nexolon.

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As TheStreet noted when GT Solar touched a new 52-week high on Wednesday, above the $10 mark, it was the second time in recent months that GT Solar spiked on no apparent news. However, the last time this occurred, the GT Solar spike was shortly thereafter followed by a new order announcement.

The last time GT Solar shares spiked to this extent, on Dec. 8, it was followed, within 24 hours, by news out of Asia regarding big equipment sales to a major Korean market player, OCI. At that point, GT Solar shares hit what was a fresh 52-week high, at $9.41.

On Friday morning, GT Solar shares hit a new 52-week high of $10.64 after rising 5%.

GT Solar has been receiving general accolades from the analyst ranks as far as the 2011 outlook for solar stocks. Wunderlich Securities analyst Theodore O'Neill released an alternative energy outlook piece on Wednesday listing GT Solar among the stocks that will benefit from heavy customer exposure in China.

Other bullish GT Solar analysts say its focus on the equipment sector of the solar market makes it a more defensive play headed into what is supposed to be an uncertain demand environment for solar in 2011 -- and, in particular, its polysilicon production business may have another order leg in it before slowing down. Polysilicon pricing is expected to hold up better than solar wafer and solar cell pricing in 2011.

GT Solar announced a sale to Chinese solar low-cost module vendor Trina Solar ( TSL).

Short interest on outstanding GT Solar shares remains high, with roughly one-quarter of its 40 million shares held by short investors. As of the last Nasdaq short interest report on Dec. 15, there were 11.8 million shorts against GT Solar.

From a technical trader's perspective, what might be most notable in the GT Solar heavy action this week is was that shares have managed to stay above the $10 level. GT Solar shares have only hit the $10 mark once in the past year, and it didn't hold that level after reaching an intraday $10 mark in November.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

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