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Sell-Side Love Continues To Shine Down On 'Best Positioned' First Solar

Wayne Duggan

The struggling solar industry may not quite be out of the woods just yet, but Wall Street analysts are growing increasingly bullish on industry leader First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR). On Tuesday, Bank of America and Cowen both released positive commentary on First Solar ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report expected on July 27.

According to Bank of America analyst Krish Sankar, First Solar is the best-positioned stock to capitalize in an uptick in U.S. solar demand in the second half of 2017.

“We continue to believe FSLR is positioned well (significant Series 4 inventory and Series 6 rolling out in CY18) and stands to benefit from an increase in module prices,” Sankar wrote (see Sankar's track record here).

First Solar is Bank of America’s only Buy-rated solar stock.

View more earnings on FSLR

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Cowen is also bullish on First Solar thanks to the potential of the Series 6 roll-out. Analyst Jeffrey Osborne said 2017 will be a transitional year for First Solar as it updates its product pipeline.

“We believe product cycles are imperative for the story to work, in particular the exciting S6 transition, which should lead to First Solar having a permanent cost advantage in both module and system cost versus Asian based peers,” Osborne wrote.

On the upcoming earnings call, Osborne will be listening for updates on the company’s restructuring initiatives and details on the company’s sale of its stake in 8Point3 Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ: CAFD).

Bank of America has a $54 price target for First Solar, while Cowen has a $47 price target.

Latest Ratings for FSLR

Date Firm Action From To
Jul 2017 Standpoint Research Downgrades Buy Hold
Jul 2017 Axiom Capital Upgrades Hold Buy
Jul 2017 Morgan Stanley Maintains Equal-Weight

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