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The Associated Press August 31, 2011, 7:25PM ET

Solar shares fall as Solyndra shuts down

Shares of solar power equipment makers fell on Wednesday after another industry player said it would seek bankruptcy protection.

Privately held Solyndra LLC of Fremont, Calif., said it would lay off 1,100 workers. It's the third solar company to seek bankruptcy protection in August alone, after Spectrawatt Inc. and Evergreen Solar Inc.

The price for solar panels has dropped by about 42 percent this year largely because of heavy competition from Chinese firms. Uncertainty about European subsidies has also weakened demand.

Chinese companies weren't immune to the share price drops on Wednesday. U.S.-traded shares of LDK Solar Co., based in Xinyu City, China, fell 28 cents, or 4.7 percent, to close at $5.71. Changzhou-based Trina Solar Limited fell 31 cents, or 1.9 percent, to close at $15.88. And Shanghai-based JA Solar Holdings Co. was down a penny to close at $3.66.

First Solar Inc., based in Tempe, Ariz., fell $1.95, or 1.9 percent, to close at $99.98. Suntech Power Holdings Co. fell a penny to close at $5.25. Canadian Solar Inc. rose 17 cents, or 2.6 percent, to close at $6.74.

Jefferies energy analyst Jesse Pichel said Solyndra's problems were unique to its products and aren't shared by the rest of the industry. Its panels cost more to install than those from its competitors, he said.

"It's a volatile group. I can't say that the performance today looks like any trend," he said of Wednesday's share price moves.

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