LDK Solar is a Chinese company that sells multicrystalline polysilicon wafers to solar panel manufacturers. With margins over the last year consistently above 30%, it's clear that LDK's strategy of using cheaper, recycled polysilicon to produce its wafers in a low-wage, Chinese environment is paying off by keeping costs down without affecting wafer quality. 63% of LDK's revenues come from Asia, with almost half that coming from China, while another 27% comes from Europe.. The rest comes from North America, a still-emerging market for renewable energy technologies, and a region with high future growth potential.
Demand for LDK's wafers is greatly affected by demand for solar panels. Rising oil and gas prices, fears of climate change, and political support for alternative energy sources are all playing a part in helping the budding solar market develop. Countering these forces, however, is a shortage of refined polysilicon, which is the principal input needed to produce multicrystalline wafers and solar panels. This shortage has driven up prices for all three, making solar energy less appealing than other power sources. LDK's main competitors in the multicrystalline silicon wafer market are Renewable Energy Corporation, SolarWorld AG, PV Crystalox, Kyocera, and Sumco Corporation.(Read more at Wikinvest )