This week, Suntech Power
In a nutshell, Suntech has discontinued the trial production of thin film panels, manufactured at an uncompetitive cost using Applied Materials'
The bottom line is that Suntech reported a quarterly loss of $174.9 million on its bottom line.
The real surprise came on Wednesday's conference call, during which management announced that it's "considering partial upstream integration into the wafer segment" of the solar value chain. This marks a break from Suntech's "virtual integration" model, which had distinguished it from competitors like Yingli Green Energy
Like First Solar
If Suntech were to simultaneously pursue an aggressive wafer manufacturing push and the acquisition of Recurrent Energy, I would expect shareholders to get significant dilution of their stake. Suntech could conceivably take on additional debt, but is already quite leveraged, and surely doesn't want to end up like Shunda. I'm steering clear of this solar player for now.
Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his Motley Fool CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.