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MEMC Advances as Sales of Solar Projects Boost Cash Flow

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., the second-largest U.S. polysilicon maker, rose the most in more than a week after second-quarter sales of solar projects boosted its cash flow.

MEMC gained 11 percent to $2.28 at the close in New York, the most since July 27.

The company recognized revenue in the quarter for selling 144 megawatts of solar projects, more than six times the 23 megawatts reported a year earlier. Free cash flow was $114 million, compared with $16.9 million a year earlier, the St. Peters, Missouri-based company said today in a statement.

“The bankruptcy concerns are alleviated,” Jesse Pichel, an analyst with Jefferies Group Inc. in New York, said today in an e-mail. “Everything else is in line.”

The company’s SunEdison development unit has a pipeline of 2.9 gigawatts of planned solar projects, including 104 megawatts under construction as of June 30. It expects to complete 40 megawatts to 60 megawatts in the current quarter.

“Our focus is cash, cash, cash,” Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Chatila said today on a conference call with analysts. “There’s no question the upside is there. We just need to make sure the short term is taken care of as well.”

Lower material prices contributed to a net loss of $61.3 million, or 27 cents, compared with profit of $47.3 million, or 21 cents, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose 8.4 percent to $808.4 million.

“We said we’re going to deliver 400 megawatts this year, and we’ve delivered more than half, with half to go,” Chatila said. “We have a significant pipeline, and I’m proud of it.”

Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. is the biggest U.S. polysilicon producer.

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