North Coast Solar Stocks

April 9, 2009

First Solar shares jump after analyst boost target

Filed under: FSLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:02 pm

First Solar shares jump after analyst boosts price target, earnings estimate

Thursday April 9, 2009, 1:02 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of First Solar Inc. (FSLR) jumped Thursday after an analyst boosted his price target and earnings estimates on the company, saying it probably will outperform its peers in the solar power industry.

The stock rose $6.63, or 4.9 percent, to $142.32 in afternoon trading. Shares have traded between $85.28 and $317 in the past 52 weeks.

Pacific Crest analyst Mark Bachman increased his price target to $227 from $209 and kept an “Outperform” rating on the stock.

The new price target implies Bachman expects shares to jump 67 percent over Wednesday’s $135.69 close.

“Although significant fear permeates the market due to (macroeconomic) concerns regarding project financing, module oversupply and falling crystalline silicon module prices, we continue to believe that First Solar will navigate the challenging environment better than its peers,” he said in a note to clients.

Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar likely will see costs drop faster than the average selling price for solar products, which should, in turn, lead to higher profits in 2009 and 2010, Bachman said.

Bachman now expects 2009 earnings of $7.89 per share, up from a previous $7.17 estimate. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect, on average, 2009 earnings of $6.46 per share.

A company representative declined to comment.

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