More Solar Analyst Downgrades & Price Cuts: STP, SOLR, YGE, SPWRA, WFR, JASO

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10:46:48 pm on November 13, 2008

Here’s a rundown of today’s analyst notes on several solar names according to StreetInsider.com

Downgrades

– Raymond James downgrades Suntech Power (STP) from Strong Buy to Outperform and has price target of $15
– FBR downgrades GT Solar (SOLR) from Outperform to Market Perform
– Credit Suisse downgrades JA Solar (JASO) from Outperform to Neutral
– Wedbush Morgan downgrades SunPower (SPWRA) from Strong Buy to Buy and slashed the price target from $100 to $32.  Just 3 weeks ago Wedbush Morgan issued the Strong Buy rating and I commented:

“Then there’s Wedbush Morgan, with an against the grain STRONG BUY rating and $100 price target!  Are they all looking at the same company?  One analyst is going to lose all credibility on this so we’ll revisit this post in a few quarters.  The concerns of Citi and Merrill are certainly warranted, but much of this may have already been priced in while Wedbush appears to be overly optimistic. “

In their new note today Wedbush says:

“Downgrading shares of SunPower to BUY from STRONG BUY based on: (i) increased risk to 2009 revenues as tighter credit markets could limit and in some cases prevent customer financing; (ii) further price erosion in the U.S. panel market could push out margin targets into 2H:09; (iii) evolving customer base increases exposure to currency markets and therefore heightens earnings risk; and (iv) reduced confidence by the Street in the management team as it lowers outlook three weeks after earnings report. Tighter credit markets is limiting financing for solar projects…Changing customer base leads to currency exposure potentially increasing earnings volatility. Flawless execution and time could help recover credibility but it will not happen overnight.” 

Where were these concerns just 3 weeks ago?  It appears Wedbush is the one losing credibility.

Maintain

– Amtech cuts price target on Yingli Green Energy (YGE) from $12 to $16 but maintains Buy rating.  Despite the near-term headwinds, AmTech believes that Yingli is currently in a better position, relative to peers, to maintain margins in the first half of ’09 “given its liberal use of the spot market to fulfill raw material needs.”

– Amtech cuts price target on MEMC Electronics (WFR) from $46 to $36 but maintains Buy rating

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