First Solar (FSLR) Up On S&P Addition, Upgrade To Buy

First Solar (FSLR) is up a bit in premarket trading after it was announced last night the company would join the S&P500, replacing Wyeth.  The upgrade from Janney Montgomery Scott to Buy is also helping.  The firm has a price target of $185.

Hat tip to for the following analyst comment.

“We believe that First Solar’s cost leadership and deep experience will continue to differentiate the Company in the increasingly competitive photovoltaic industry. At an average manufacturing cost of $0.87 per watt in the second quarter of 2009, First Solar has a significant cost advantage over its crystalline silicon competitors, whose costs are in the range of $2 per watt. And while First Solar’s lower conversion efficiency (10.9% in the second quarter) might put the Company at a disadvantage when it comes to space-constrained projects, we believe that First Solar will continue to be the vendor of choice for large-scale solar power plants. We believe that continued project announcements, such as the recent agreement between First Solar and the Chinese government to develop a 2GW PV plant in Inner Mongolia, will drive the Company’s stock higher in the next few quarters. We are modeling revenue and EPS of $2.60 billion and $8.01 in CY2010, versus consensus of $2.45 billion and $7.30. For 2011, we forecast revenue and EPS of $3.27 billion and $10.31 versus consensus of $3.29 billion and $9.61.”

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