North Coast Solar Stocks

November 24, 2008

Solar stocks rise with broader market

Filed under: FSLR, JASO, SOLR, SPWR, TSL — Tags: , , — Jason @ 2:33 pm

Monday November 24, 2:33 pm ET

Solar stocks lift with market; analysts highly rate industry on strong US demand outlook

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of solar companies rose on Monday along with the broader market and after analysts predicted strong future demand for the industry in the U.S.

Shares of SunPower Corp. (SPWRA) rose $7.45, or 36.2 percent, to $28.04. Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said the solar cell and panel maker is well positioned to capitalize on strong long-term demand for photovoltaic modules in the U.S. utility market.

“In our view, SunPower’s track record for successfully developing and executing some of the world’s largest photovoltaic projects gives it a major edge when competing for utility contracts,” he said, adding that he reaffirms SunPower’s rating of “Strong Buy.”

Molchanov said the near-term global photovoltaic module demand is facing mounting macroeconomic challenges due to volatile currency swings, namely, the depreciation of the euro, and a tighter credit market, which is driving down average selling prices and squeezing gross margins across the industry.

Nonetheless, he said, “We take this opportunity to highlight a bright spot against the tough backdrop: one of the more durable sources of photovoltaic demand – the U.S. utility market.”

Molchanov rated other solar companies positively, including GT Solar International Inc. (SOLR) and JA Solar Holdings Co. (JASO), which he rated at “Strong Buy,” and First Solar Inc. (FSLR) and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL), which he rated at “Outperform.”

GT Solar shares rose 32 cents, or 12.9 percent, to $2.81. Shares of JA Solar gained 70 cents, or 33.3 percent, to $2.80.

Shares of First Solar climbed $14.59, or 15.7 percent, to $107.25. Trina Solar shares lifted $1.32, or 20.8 percent, to $7.68.

Meanwhile, on Wall St., the Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq climbed more than 4 percent while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained more than 5 percent in afternoon trading.

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