AP News

LDK Solar 2nd-quarter loss balloons as prices fall

NEW YORK (AP) — LDK Solar Co. on Monday said its second-quarter loss widened, hurt by a drop in the market price for polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules.

For the quarter ended June 30, the Chinese solar equipment maker posted a loss of $254.3 million, or $2 per U.S. share, compared with a loss of $87.7 million, or 62 cents per U.S. share, in the same quarter last year.

The loss was bigger than Wall Street expected. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of $1.42 per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Like other solar companies, LDK has struggled in recent years as solar panel prices dropped. The company, which makes a variety of solar products including wafers, cells and modules, said the recent quarter's results also included $30.5 million in impairment charges related to the sale of certain properties and land use rights.

Revenue tumbled 53 percent to $235.4 million from $499.4 million, slightly short of analysts' predictions for $237.5 million in sales. The company said that while wafer shipments increased during the quarter, increased competition and low demand continued to drive prices down and hurt the company's profitability.

LDK said it expects market conditions to continue to be tough in the third quarter, while demand from some markets, such as China, should begin to improve in the second half of this year.

The company said it expects its third-quarter revenue to total between $220 million and $260 million, well below average analysts' predictions of $453.6 million.

LDK also cut its full-year forecast to between $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion in sales, from its previous range of $1.5 billion to $2 billion. Analysts expect $1.76 billion, on average, with estimates ranging from $1.58 billion to $2.12 billion.

LDK shares slipped 6 cents, or 5 percent, to $1.24 in premarket trading. The stock, which traded as high as $76.75 prior to the financial crisis, has ranged between $1.20 and $6.92 in the past 52 weeks.

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