FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Shares in Conergy fell as much as a fifth on Wednesday after the German solar energy group cut its earnings outlook for the second time in two months and unveiled 500 job cuts in a sweeping reorganization.
Conergy said it would miss its previously reduced target of generating $1.47 billion in sales this year and now expected to post an operating loss of between 150 million and 200 million euros, abandoning an earlier operating loss forecast of up to 10 million euros.
It cited "a significant deterioration in the operating result," as well as major one-off items including changes in accounting policy for large projects, writing down assets and restructuring costs.
It said most of these steps would not affect liquidity.
Conergy said it would focus on the profitable solar energy business and discontinue its bioenergy and solar thermics activities, which would be prepared for sale.
Lehman Brothers said the latest profit warning was not unexpected after the arrival of the new chief executive.
"The focus more upon solar energy makes sense, but we still do not have more visibility on if and when the supply chain will improve between now and the middle of next year when new supply contracts begin to deliver," it added in a research note.
It reiterated its "underweight" recommendation and advocated buying REC and Q-Cells , which it said offered more upside potential in the solar sector.
Conergy shares were down 8.4 percent at 23.76 euros by 0454 EST, off a session low at 20.15.
Conergy last month sold new shares and secured a credit line to handle a liquidity squeeze. Founder and Chief Executive Hans-Martin Rueter also left the group in November.
German investor Otto Happel at the time bought shares worth 50 million euros to take a stake of 4.25 percent, with an option to increase his stake to as much as 25.1 percent.
(Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Will Waterman)