Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"FBR Research Maintains an 'Underperform'" and "Piper Jaffray Reiterates an 'Overweight'" on First Solar (FSLR)

UPDATE 2-18: "First Solar: Brigantine Upgrades Ahead Of Earnings (FSLR) Options 'Max Pain' at $120".
Original post:
The stock is up another $2.94 at $124.30 in early trade.
As I mentioned yesterday the stock has a pattern of running up into earnings and then trailing off.
Two from Street Insider:
FBR Research maintains an Underperform rating and $100 price target on First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR)

FBR analyst says, "We expect First Solar to meet or exceed our in-line with consensus estimates for 4Q09 when it reports on Thursday after the close. Due to demand pull-in in Germany in advance of changes to solar subsidy there, we also expect the company to highlight strong module shipments in 1Q10 (although, according to our industry thesis, a big portion of such modules will go into inventory until the weather improves). Despite a strong 4Q report and 1Q commentary, we are maintaining our below-consensus estimates for CY10 simply because of more-than-expected ASP pressure, especially as the excess inventory situation becomes more prevalent and known in the coming months. Other risks include any delays in the sale of PPA projects in Ontario.">>>MORE
Piper Jaffray reiterates an 'Overweight' rating on First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR), price target $127.

Piper analyst says, "Based on strong sector fundamentals, and channel checks with customers, we anticipate an in-line to better 4Q09 given sector strength and sold out conditions. We anticipate reiterated and unchanged 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 believe FSLR continues to sell out its production, and thus expect its 2010 guidance will be unchanged. The company is presenting at the 5th Annual Piper Jaffray Conference on 2/23 in NYC...There could be upside to our conservative 2010 estimates...For non farm land ground projects in Germany we estimate a $1.35 panel will be required based on our calculation, and it is unclear if that is baked into current 2010 guidance as, at its analyst day, the company stated that it is "trying to anticipate outcome, impact remains uncertain.">>>MORE