Citi Maintains Hold On First Solar (FSLR), But Cuts Price Target

Citi is out this morning maintaining its Hold rating on First Solar (FSLR), but lowered the price target from $135 to $125. Hat tip to Street Insider for the analyst comment.

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“We have long argued that EPS here will not start to meaningfully grow again until 2012, following three years of stagnating EPS (2009-2011). While we still rate the stock Hold, we continue to feel our concerns are not fully discounted until $90-$100 (18-20x our C2011 EPS sensitivity assuming 1.20 FX). At this price, risk/reward to our revised $125 target is more attractive even considering what is apt to be another subsidy cut in Germany and renewed pricing pressure as the Italy-fueled pricing bubble fades and investors are forced to consider the potential long-term impact of ~$5 natgas.”

FY10 EPS estimates are cut from $7.03 to $6.51 (Street $6.95). For FY11 EPS, keeping $6.29 estimate, but sees downside risk to ~$5.00 if the Euro/$ FX remains around 1.20 range (vs. Citi assumption of approx. 1.30 range).

Shares of FSLR are down about 2% today and appear headed for a retest of the $100 area.

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