ThinkEquity, Merriman Curhan Downgrade First Solar (FSLR) Following Earnings

ThinkEquity & Merriman Curhan Ford are out with downgrades of First Solar following earnings.

ThinkEquity downgrades from Buy to Hold

Merriman Curhan Ford downgrades from Buy to Neutral. “We are downgrading to Neutral given the uncertain business outlook in 2H10 despite a strong 4Q09 and management reaffirming its 2010 earnings guidance. Solar module makers are expected to face revenue and margin volatility as a result of changing conditions in overcapacity and FiT policies. (We would note that solar inverters such as Power-One (PWER) (Buy-rated) are less susceptible to such factors given current inverter shortages and represents an installed unit play versus installed modules that depends on price.) As a result, we believe FSLR shares remain range bound ($117-129)…We are reducing our FY10 revenue estimate to $2.75B from $2.80B and our EPS to $6.15 from $6.45, along with cutting to our FY11 EPS estimate to $7.70 from $8.25 (consensus at $7.85).”

Shares of FSLR are down about 7% in premarket trading.

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