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GT Solar's shares slide following IPO

Shares of GT Solar, a large supplier of photovoltaic equipment, fell by 15 percent by their second day of trading.

Shares of GT Solar stock fell by 15 percent on the second day of trading. The Merrimack, N.H., company calls itself one of the largest suppliers of silicon photovoltaic solar equipment.

Its stock, under the ticker symbol SOLR on the NASDAQ market, was priced at $16.50 per share for the $500 million initial public offering of 30.3 million shares Thursday. That fell to $12.36 per share in midday trading.

The company declined to comment.

GT Solar's stock was overpriced by as much as two times compared to close competitor Centrotherm of Germany, said Ted Sullivan, senior analyst at Lux Research. The firm predicted in March that a solar bubble would burst as solar supplies exceed demand in the coming year. For instance, many analysts forecast that a shortage of silicon will end soon.

"This is not a sign of the end of solar," Sullivan added. "There's a good proposition that there will be healthy IPOs coming up if a solar company is able to muster truly disruptive technology. If one of the OptiSolars or Solyndras of the world can get next-generation thin-film technologies working and viable, that would be attractive."

Public offerings of renewable-energy companies have been weak through the first half of 2008. Analysts have described clean-tech companies as a bright spot despite a decline in venture capital funding.

Solar panel installer Real Goods is the only other U.S. solar company to go public this year. Its stock was trading at $6.04 at press time, down from its initial price of $9 per share in May.