4. First Solar (FSLR) makes thin-film, cadmium telluride solar panels. It's the sector's cost leader.
Goldman, impressed by the company's 13-cent first-quarter earnings beat, expects the stock to continue to decline in coming weeks as the market prices in a slowing market in the second half of 2011, presenting a buying opportunity to savvy investors.First Solar shares are flat this year, whereas the Claymore/MAC Global Solar Index (TAN) has risen 12%. First Solar's stock has declined 12% in the past four weeks, falling to attractive levels. Cost cuts are under way, and "tracking on plan for First Solar, less so for competitors and are allowing for ASP declines, larger markets and fewer competitors." Goldman has a six-month target of $190 on First Solar, suggesting outstanding short-term upside of 47%. The bank expects significant multiple expansion as interest grows in solar, helped by elevated crude prices, rising energy demand, and recent interest from external players. The purchase of SunPower (SPWRA) by Total (TOT), may be a tell of future acquisitions.
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