First Solar Gains Steam As Raymond James Upgrades To Market Perform

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Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov upgraded First Solar Inc FSLR from Underperform to Market Perform without a price target.

  • Following a rash of negative headlines and the resulting pressure on the stock, the risk/reward has become more balanced.
  • Amid many tariff barriers in place, any steps in the opposite direction have the effect of intensifying competition, leading to margin erosion for First Solar.
  • Including its 4Q drop of 8%, the WilderHill Clean Energy Index (ECO) posted a 2021 decline of 30%, but that statistic, in isolation, is meaningless. 
  • Molchanov looks at the profit-taking of 2021 as entirely reasonable and indeed healthy as it came after outsized gains for two straight years: 58% in 2019 and a stunning, record-setting 203% in 2020. 
  • Aggregating the past three years, the ECO gained 232%, more than double the S&P 500's 92%. 
  • First Solar designs and manufactures solar photovoltaic panels, modules, and systems in utility-scale development projects. The company's solar modules use cadmium telluride to convert sunlight into electricity.
  • Price Action: FSLR shares traded higher by 2.94% at $91.18 in the premarket session on the last check Tuesday.
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