Why Suntech Power's Shares Popped Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Suntech Power (NASDAQOTH: STPFQ  ) , formerly the world's largest solar manufacturer, rose as much as 15% in early trading today after announcing a potential way out of bankruptcy.

So what: Wuxi Guolian Development Co., Ltd. has given Suntech a letter of intent to make a $150 million equity investment in the company. This is not a binding offer, and terms of the potential investment weren't disclosed, but this may pull the company back from the dead. 

Now what: While there are a few answers today, there may be even more questions. Suntech's release said the investment would be "in connection with supporting a comprehensive rehabilitation and restructuring of the financial and operational affairs of the Company." Suntech CEO Zhoi Weiping goes on to say, "There will be substantial dilution for existing shareholders."

Suntech's biggest subsidiary is in bankruptcy, and any deal would likely require debt owed to Chinese banks to be turned into equity, plus the $150 million invested by Wuxi Guolian Development. I don't know what that leaves current shareholders with, but it won't be a lot. We also haven't heard anything about Suntech's operations in 2013, so this is a blind shot for investors buying today, and certainly not something I'm willing to do.

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