When shares of LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) got KO'd a little more than two months ago, nobody was happy with my coverage of the story. Defenders derided me for playing into the ploy of a disgruntled employee, while one skeptic slammed me for giving the firm any credit at all. Passions run curiously high when it comes to this Chinese solar ingot and wafer manufacturer. Chalk it up to testosterone, perhaps.

With the matter still unresolved, I've refrained from commenting on subsequent developments at LDK. An audit is ongoing, so third-quarter results have not been released. Management has indicated that wafer shipments totaled roughly 75MW, resulting in $140 million to $150 million in sales. Fourth-quarter guidance foretells low double-digit growth compared with the third quarter. Unfortunately, the utility of these figures is somewhat diminished by management's present credibility problem with investors.

More reassuring is the string of supply agreements that have surfaced since the silicon-inventory spat. After all, these customers are putting their own futures on the line by hitching up to LDK. Then again, some of these cell-makers are really feeling the silicon squeeze, and they're pretty desperate to secure future supply. If your choices are Hoku Scientific (NASDAQ:HOKU) and LDK, the latter looks pretty good. Both firms are unproven when it comes to producing polysilicon, but at least LDK has the wafer experience under its belt.

So first, there was the Solarfun Power Holdings (NASDAQ:SOLF) deal, and then Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) went ahead and doubled its requested supply of wafers.  But the real doozy came this Monday, with German giant Q-Cells ordering up six gigawatts of wafers, to be delivered over a 10-year period.

It's hard to say whether the adjustable pricing mechanism will ultimately prove beneficial for LDK. But in a clear improvement over prior deals, Q-Cells will prepay for 10% of the order. That provides a nice addition to LDK's other sources of liquidity, and minimizes the company's reliance on future equity offerings.

This deal is an excellent development for a company that's seen too much drama. I look forward to hearing the results of the inventory audit, and I hope that we can put that bit of unpleasantness behind us.

Related Foolishness:

  • This thin-film leader continues to flourish, while this beast from the East powers ahead.
  • Meanwhile, this solar stock looks a bit stunted.
  • Not to be corny, but this solar player got creamed.

Fool contributor Toby Shute thinks he might have pulled an ingot at the gym. He doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool has a pleasant disclosure policy.