North Coast Solar Stocks

November 6, 2009

Evergreen Solar shares fall 8 pct, hurt by results

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 2:24 pm

Fri Nov 6, 2009 2:24pm EST

* Solar-panel price drop hurts profit

* Pacific Crest analyst cuts stock to “sector perform”

LOS ANGELES, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Shares of Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR) fell 8 percent on Friday as its quarterly results weighed on the U.S. solar equipment maker’s stock.

Like many in the industry, Evergreen has been hurt by a lack of financing for new solar projects and a drop in prices for solar panels that has eaten into profits.

Citi analyst Timothy Arcuri on Friday downgraded the stock to “sell” from “hold” while Pacific Crest Securities analyst Mark Bachman cut the stock to “sector perform” from “outperform,” noting that the company faces challenges in 2010.

“While we commend Evergreen in its efforts to lower manufacturing costs by moving to China and outsourcing its module business, we believe that the company faces an uphill battle” as Chinese competitors offer solar products at significantly lower prices, Bachman wrote in a note to clients.

Arcuri said that the company also remains in a “liquidity struggle” and seem less likely to maintain a brand premium on its solar products.

Still, an uptick in demand helped Evergreen post better-than-expected revenue for the third quarter and its executives said on Thursday the company has “significant” cash to meet its operating needs.

The Marlboro, Massachusetts-based company makes photovoltaic equipment that turns sunlight into electricity.

Its shares were down 8 percent at $1.42 in afternoon trading on Friday on the Nasdaq. The stock has lost more than 70 percent of its value since hitting a year-high of $5.20 in November 2008.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Matthew Lewis)

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