Analysts Weigh In On First Solar (FSLR) Ahead Of 2010 Guidance Webcast

First Solar (FSLR) will issue 2010 guidance in a webcast on Wednesday and analysts are weighing in ahead of the event.

Hat tip to StreetInsider for following the analyst comment from Pacific Crest:

Mark Bachman at Pacific Crest really went out on a limb and said the meeting should have one of two results – “up or down.” He said 2010 capex and 2011 EPS are the key metrics at the event. Long-term investors will look for at least $8.00 in EPS to support a 2011 valuation target, according to Bachman, which he said is achievable with sufficient capacity additions.

He believes the Desert Sunlight project is being permitted for a capacity of 550 MWac (647 MWdc), which is 300 MWac greater than that 250 MWac estimate given in the Aug. 18 press release. The Desert Sunlight project now equals the capacity of First Solar’s largest project, Topaz.  Assuming Desert Sunlight receives Fast Track approval construction is slated to begin in 2010, which is roughly two years earlier than previously announced, and commercial operation should commence in 2013. Desert Sunlight is worth $1.6 billion, according to the firm.

Analyst Vishal Shah at Barclays said he now expects the company to announce 2010 guidance to be generally in-line with the consensus estimates, provide greater visibility around systems and components business and potentially announce new capacity expansion in the U.S.

Shah said that he expects systems business revenues of $750 million to $900 million with gross margins of 25% to 30% and component business revenues of $1.85 billion to $1.9 billion with gross margins of 45% to 50%.He now expects 2010 EPS of $6.55, inline with consensus estimates. Shah maintains an “equal weight” rating on the stock.

Shares of FSLR are up about 4% today and back above the 50 day moving average for the first time since September.  It look like the stock is in the process of carving out a double bottom base with a break above 163.32 signaling a bullish breakout move.

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