Thursday, February 3, 2011

UPDATED: Auriga Cuts First Solar to Hold on Valuation (FSLR)

Update: "First Solar Catches Another Downgrade, this Time from Kaufman (FSLR)"
Original post:
The stock is trading down $2.68 at $161.72.
Our last post on Auriga/First Solar was December 15ths "Corrected: Auriga's Bachman Reiterates OUTPERFORM on First Solar - Lowers Price Target (FSLR)" where Mr. Bachman lowered his price target from $175 to $167 while maintaining his outperform rting..
The stock closed that day at $135.15. At yesterday's $164.40 Bachman was sporting a nifty little seven week move to within 2% of his target.

Here's TheStreet:

Put the Brakes on First Solar: Analyst
Solar stocks are taking a breather after a big rally on Wednesday, and First Solar(FSLR) even received a downgrade, based purely on valuation and the fact that the solar bellwether has run up to an 18-month high share price. 

On Thursday, Auriga Securities downgraded First Solar  to a hold, and said in its downgrade that it did not intend to be a solar "rally killer," but with First Solar already the premium-priced stock in the sector, and its shares ending Wednesday above the $164 mark, a pause was prudent.

Auriga's price target remains $167 on First Solar. The recent Goldman Sachs  upgrade of First Solar with a price target of $165, and the addition of First Solar to Goldman's conviction buy list, were often cited in the recent rally in First Solar shares and the solar sector more broadly....MORE

Mr. Bachman may be underestimating the ferocious nature of the buying that can be unleashed by a GS "Conviction Buy".
The Goldman analysts are very aware of the short interest in FSLR (highest ratio in the S&P 500) and are probably expecting to scare the shorts into buying a chunk of  Goldman's position at higher prices.
I've seen this movie before.