February 10, 2011 / 10:06 PM / 8 years ago

Hoku says key plant delayed; shares fall

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Solar raw material provider Hoku Corp posted its tenth straight quarterly loss on higher operating expenses and said construction on a key plant was delayed, sending its shares down 11 percent after market.

The Honolulu, Hawaii-based company said the construction schedule on its polysilicon plant has spread over to four years from the originally expected two years because of financing-related issues.

“We will experience approximately 3-6 months of delays in completing construction of the first 2,500 metric tons of capacity. Because of this, we will work with our customers to determine how to handle our near-term polysilicon delivery requirements,” Chief Executive Scott Paul said.

The company said it is in discussions with lenders and investors and did not rule out the possibility of raising additional equity.

Wells Fargo & Co and Hoku’s parent recently signed an agreement that could lead to financing of Hoku’s projects in the United States.

Financing for solar companies had dried up after the global financial crisis and recession, putting brakes on their expansion plans.

For October-December, Hoku lost 5 cents a share, excluding items. Analysts on an average were expecting a loss of 4 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose more than four fold to $1.2 million versus market expectations of $1.9 million.

The company’s shares, which closed at $2.58 on Thursday on Nasdaq, fell to a low of $2.29 in after-market trade.

Reporting by Krishna N Das in Bangalore; Editing by Vyas Mohan, Unnikrishnan Nair

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