Solar Stocks Fall as Chinese Manufacturing Shrinks

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- Apr 25, 2012 -- After producing gains for investors at the beginning of the year solar companies across the board have seen some significant losses recently. Chinese solar companies tumbled this week as recent data suggested that manufacturing in China was shrinking, underlying concerns of China's growing economic problems. Shares of U.S. Based First Solar Inc. also took a beating after they were downgraded to "sell" by Maxim Group LLC. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Solar Industry and provides equity research on LDK Solar Company (NYSE: LDK) and Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL).

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The China Purchasing Managers Index showed a preliminary reading of 49.1, according to HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics, signaling that manufacturing in China has contracted for the sixth consecutive month. This reading supports the growing concerns that the second biggest economy in the world may continue to falter. "Investors and analysts are trying to determine who are going to be the survivors in the industry in the long term," said Michael Obuchowski, chief investment officer at First Empire Asset Management. "The manufacturing numbers out of China are apparently panicking people and downgrades don't help either."

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LDK Solar Company, a leading vertically integrated manufacturer of photovoltaic products, announced that it has changed the release date of its fourth quarter 2011 results originally scheduled for April 12, 2012 to April 30, 2012, as management needs additional time to finalize certain items in its fourth quarter 2011 financial results, including an impairment analysis of long-lived assets and an assessment of inventory write-downs and provisions for certain receivables.

Trina Solar Limited is a leading manufacturer of high quality modules and has a long history as a solar PV pioneer since it was founded in 1997 as a system installation company. Trina Solar is one of the few PV manufacturers that have developed a vertically integrated business model from the production of monocrystalline and multicrystalline silicon ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of high quality modules.

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