NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Ascent Solar Technologies (ASTI) were gaining 11.2% to $1.49 on heavy trading volume Thursday following the release of the company's battery and solar power case for the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 6.

The new EnerPlex Surfr for iPhone 6 integrates an external battery for the smartphone and solar charging capabilities into a protective case for the smartphone. The case can enable more than 10 hours of extra talk time, according to Ascent Solar, thanks to its 2700 mAh battery and photovoltaic panel.

"With over 100 million iPhone 6s already sold both domestically and internationally, the EnerPlex Surfr is primed to penetrate an extremely large group of consumers, many of whom have a desperate need for more battery life," Ascent Solar President and CEO Victor Lee said in a statement.

About 3.3 million shares of Ascent Solar were traded by 11:10 a.m. Thursday, above its average trading volume of about 796,000 shares a day.

TheStreet Ratings team rates ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES as a Sell with a ratings score of D-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES (ASTI) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

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

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 88.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$6.48 million to -$12.25 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$8.06 million or 61.28% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • 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 77.98%, 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 has improved earnings per share by 42.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES reported poor results of -$6.70 versus -$6.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$3.60 versus -$6.70).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ASTI Ratings Report