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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Solar investors on Wednesday cheered better-than-expected results from equipment maker GT Solar International Inc and MEMC Electronic Materials Inc's newest purchase of a solar project developer, sending both stocks up in extended trade.

GT Solar, the world's third biggest maker of the machines used to make photovoltaic equipment, said its backlog rose to a record $2.3 billion, sending its shares up more than 5 percent. The company has booked a string of contract wins this year, thanks in part to its entry into the LED business through the acquisition last year of sapphire maker Crystal Systems.

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