Thursday, January 5, 2012

First Solar Can Still Go (a Little) Lower: Analyst (FSLR)

The stock is trading up 71 cents after opening down, last $35.41.
From TheStreet:
You might think after First Solar(FSLR_) shed 75% of its value, ousted its CEO, and was the biggest loser in the S&P 500 in 2011 that things couldn't get any worse, But they can get just a little bit worse for the U.S. solar company, according to Axiom Capital analyst Gordon Johnson. 

Johnson, whose bear call on First Solar shares was highlighted by CNBC recently as one of 2011's best shorts, still sees downside to $26 in First Solar stock.

In a note released on Thursday morning, Johnson isn't backing away from his short on First Solar, but said the downside is a lot less than it used to be. In what must have been a bittersweet sentence to write for an analyst who in the end was proven to be (very profitably)right about the biggest solar short in history, Johnson wrote, "We recognize the short case has nearly run its course."

Solar watchers have been anticipating Johnson's note on First Solar ever since the company released its earnings outlook in December. Solar investors have been curious to see whether the most noted First Solar bear on Wall Street is still bearish....MORE
And from the AP via BusinessWeek, yesterday:
First Solar shares retreat after days of gains
Shares of First Solar Inc. dropped as much as 6 percent on Wednesday after a few days of respite for investors, who've seen the stock plunge to repeated year lows several times over the last month.

THE SPARK: The decline came after the company's stock rose about 3 percent in the last three trading days of 2011. Before that rebound, its shares had been reeling on continued fear surrounding growing competition from Chinese solar energy companies. Last month, the company cut both earnings and revenue estimates for the year and said it plans to lay off about 100 people. Several analysts subsequently lowered their expectations for the shares....MORE