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Analyst: The Sun Hasn't Set On First Solar's Upside

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Analyst: The Sun Hasn't Set On First Solar's Upside
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Despite a 74-percent run up in First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) shares since April following Suniva filing its Section 201 petition, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts say the sun hasn't set on the shares.

Suniva's petition to the U.S. International Trade Commission seeks to impose tariffs and a floor price on imported crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules.

Accordingly, the firm maintains its Buy rating on the shares of First Solar and its $64 price objective.

At the time of writing, First Solar shares were rallying 0.69 percent to $48.35.

Analysts Krish Sankar and Chriag Odhav indicated that the strong run up following Suniva's petition is due to the fact that any tariffs imposed on crystalline silicon modules will benefit First Solar (see Sankar's track record here).

Following the ITC hearing held in July, the analysts said, "We do see a greater likelihood of some tariffs, or at the very least, increased ASPs in the near-term due to disruption in the market."

See also: Caution Solar Investors: Rise In US Solar Panel Prices Is Not A Function Of Improved Fundamentals

However, if the Suniva petition is rejected, BofA Merrill Lynch thinks First Solar stock would trade back to the average multiple. That said, the firm, citing its scenario analysis, said the risk-reward appears attractive.

If the Suniva noise is removed, the firm believes First Solar stock becomes a fundamental story of execution and long-term share gains. The firm also noted that the company has found success selling off projects to third parties, as intended, with the management seeing more value in selling to third-parties rather than to 8Point3 Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ: CAFD).

Despite the volatility seen in First Solar shares last week, BofA Merrill Lynch still sees room for the stock to move higher toward its price objective of $64, representing roughly 33 percent upside from current levels.

Latest Ratings for FSLR

DateFirmActionFromTo
Dec 2017BairdUpgradesNeutralOutperform
Oct 2017NeedhamUpgradesHoldBuy
Sep 2017Deutsche BankUpgradesHoldBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for FSLR
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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