By Michael Kanellos
Sometimes, it doesn't pay to be first.
DayStar Technologies (OTC:DSTI), one of the first companies to jump into copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells, has sold off "non-core" assets in its Halfmoon, N.Y. office, where the company conducted much of its R&D, to Veeco Instruments. DayStar didn't say how much it would be worth, but said it would cut about $2 million from the operating budget. DayStar retained rights to its intellectual property.
The sale will allow Veeco to further elaborate on its plans for selling equipment to the CIGS market.
In May, Stephan DeLuca resigned as CEO and a director at the request of the board. It also laid off 30 percent of its staff at the time. Ratson Morad, who came over from Solyndra last year, recently resigned as COO.
In the first quarter of the year, DayStar lost $7.7 million, up from the $4.5 million loss in the same quarter the year before.
"DayStar had cash and cash equivalents of $6.5 million at March 31, 2009, compared with $17.1 million at December 31, 2008," the earnings release stated. "As of March 31, 2009, DayStar had total liabilities of $16.0 million, and total stockholders’ equity was $37.0 million."
DayStar employed one of the most tested, but perhaps one of the more expensive, methods for growing CIGS: evaporation. Although it works, competitors say it isn't as efficient as sputtering or evaporation. On the other hand, most competitors are also still just approaching mass manufacturing.
Like others, DayStar also wants to produce CIGS cells on metal foils, rather than glass, but making that transition has taken longer than expected.