Monday, November 19, 2007

Lazard Defends Solar, On Pullbacks (ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SPWR, STP)

I was very impressed by Sanjay Shrestha's calls on First Solar in July and August:
First Solar (FSLR) upgrade

Lazard Capital upped FSLR From hold to buy. LAZ made a pretty good call last month with the downgrade.
Here's the story, from 24/7 Wall St. via MarketWatch:

Lazard Capital Markets has issued a defense of the solar power companies today. Analyst Sanjay Shrestha noted that these stocks can be bought on dips. It is no secret of late that calling these volatile is an understatement.

Shrestha's report states: "The past few months have seen unprecedented volatility in the solar sector, driven by macro energy dynamics, outstanding earnings performance and outlook from select companies, a number of industry events that saw record investor attendance, and significant capital inflow into the sector..... the sector has changed from a cottage industry into a mainstream industry with a fully evolved value chain on a global basis. The sector has enjoyed an increase in market capitalization from $9 billion to about $45 billion in less than 18 months....." MORE

Please note that LAZ initiated coverage of China Sunergy (CSUN) Oct. 22, 2007 with a sell rating and a $6.00 price target. It closed that day at $10.43. Four weeks later it's at $7.56.
Again, from 24/7 Wall St., this time direct:

Shrestha concludes, "We are maintaining our SELL rating with a $6 price target, which reflects a 15x multiple on our 2009 EPS estimate of $0.40.... CSUN is currently trading at about 18x our 2009E EPS and we believe this discount to the group (26x) is warranted given the company's limited near- and intermediate-term competitive positioning. Given its capital and raw material position, we expect shares will meaningfully under perform the group."