Yesterday FBR Research reiterated its Underperformrating on First Solar (FSLR) and this morning Piper Jaffray is holdingfirm with its own rating of Outperform. The firm has a $127 pricetarget. Hat tip to Street Insider for the following analyst comment:
“Based on strong sector fundamentals, and channel checks withcustomers, we anticipate an in-line to better 4Q09 given sectorstrength and sold out conditions. We anticipate reiterated andunchanged 2010 guidance noting FSLR only issued guidance in December.Although we see a strong Q4, we speculate its GM will decline to ~42%given what we believe is lower ASPs with flattish costs. We believeFSLR continues to sell out its production, and thus expect its 2010guidance will be unchanged. The company is presenting at the 5th AnnualPiper Jaffray Conference on 2/23 in NYC…There could be upside to ourconservative 2010 estimates…For non farm land ground projects inGermany we estimate a $1.35 panel will be required based on ourcalculation, and it is unclear if that is baked into current 2010guidance as, at its analyst day, the company stated that it is “tryingto anticipate outcome, impact remains uncertain.” Our EPS cut for 2010may be overly conservative if FSLR can switch ground based projects tothe roof (in Germany) at $1.40-1.55, or if it can leverage its balancesheet and develop higher ASP projects throughout Europe. We believeFSLR’s project pipeline in North America remains intact, and allows ahigher ASP than its projects sold to third parties in Europe.”
Shares are up about 1% in premarket trading.