Ticonderoga Cuts First Solar (FSLR) To Sell $40PT As Germany Solar Rally Not Materialzing

First Solar (FSLR) has been in a vicious slide and it’s not getting any better this morning with Ticonderoga’s Paul Leming cutting the stock to Sell from Neutral and slashing the price target from $117 to $40.  The stock was down over 6% yesterday and another 3% in premarket trading.  The call is a bit late don’t you think Paul?

Leming made the call because he sees an acceleration to the downside in both pricing and volume expectations for the industry as a whole with no year end rally in Germany.  Below is the cliffs notes version of the analyst call.  Check out the Notable Calls post for more details.

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– part of the reason for the bearish call is due to Phoenix Solar saying in a press release that a year end rally in Germany doesn’t appear to be materializing.

– First Solar module business at around the break even point now and heading into the red next year.

FSLR’s Module Business Heading Into The Red – With the increasing likelihood that polysilicon contract prices will break $30/kg over the next nine months, we believe the most likely scenario for FSLR’s earnings in 2012 is for their module business to lose money.

“The company’s absurd segment reporting format (which has their downstream project business exactly break-even each an every quarter) completely hides from investors (and the IRS) where the company really makes its money. Transferring modules into their projects at realistic market prices would show a highly profitable project business (with the backlog of attractive projects largely flowing through the income statement by the end of 2012) and a – today – barely profitable module business.”

Technically, shares of FSLR remain in a firm downtrend and while down nearly 70% from the 2010 peak, I don’t see any signs yet that the carnage is complete.  I’m looking for a move to at least the $50 level. 

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