First Solar (FSLR) Holding $120 Despite Yesterday’s Bearish Analyst Comments

Yesterday, both Kaufman Bros and FBR Capital issued negative reports on First Solar (FSLR), but the stock didn’t budge as it held above the $120 level.  That kind of resilience typically sets up at least some short term strength which is why I have initiated a swing trade around the $123 level.  My stop point is just below the $120 level. 

Here are the analyst comments from yesterday… (hat tip to for the analyst comments)

FBR Capital cut its price target from $110 to $90 and lowered 2010 earnings estimates.

“Given our belief that FSLR’s 3Q report/conference call underscored all of the major concerns we have been raising for more than a year, we spent a few days reexamining our assumptions and model. We have once again reached the conclusion that the stock, following the sharp sell-off post 3Q report, may have not seen a bottom yet simply because we do not believe the true earning power of the company has been fully dialed into the stock. Yes, despite our repetitive warnings, investors were still surprised that the timing of the sale of the first phase of the Sarnia project caused the 3Q09 miss.  Following 3Q report, we are changing our CY09 EPS estimate from $7.34 to $7.35, though the entire upside is attributed to lower taxes. We are also fine-tuning our CY10 estimate, which has been reduced from $5.00 to $4.75, versus the current consensus estimate of $7.29. Our new CY10 estimates are based on a module/system (revenue) mix of 80/20. For system biz, we are assuming 45 MW of the Ontario pipeline (PPAs), Tri State 30 MW (PPA), Sampra 48 MW (EPC), and LADWP 20 MW (EPC)…We are also using this opportunity to introduce our CY11 EPS estimate of $4.43, versus consensus of $9.04. Our CY11 estimates are based on module/system (revenue) mix of 65/35.”

Kaufman Bros maintains its Sell rating and price target of $86.

“We believe FSLR’s business model will come under continuous margin pressure, due to competition and the general commoditization of solar cells. With 50% gross profit margins, we believe the long-term outlook is for these to decline to the 10% range.”

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