RBC Capital Markets downgraded Evergreen Solar (ESLR
) to underperform from sector perform, citing the loss of a contract.
Analyst Kurt Hallead says the company said in a 10-K announcement last Friday that the supplier of raw material silicon, MEMC Electronic Materials, abruptly stopped contract shipments. He notes that MEMC is the only producer of granular silicon that Evergreen Solar must use to produce its solar products. He says Evergreen Solar expects replacement silicon from its partner REC (Norway-based silicon producer), but the "chunk" silicon needs additional processing and is not proven at commercial levels. He widens his 10 cents first quarter loss estimate to 13 cents loss, and his 36 cents 2006 loss to a 44 cents loss.