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First Solar and Other Solar Stocks Rated Overweight by Stephens

Stephens sees the recent decline of solar stocks creating a buying opportunity amid the strong commitment from companies and governments.

Solar energy stocks, such as First Solar  (FSLR) - Get First Solar, Inc. Report, rose Friday, after Stephens analyst Gail Nicholson published a positive commentary on the industry.

She sees the recent decline of solar stocks presenting a nice buying opportunity. The commitment that companies and government have for solar energy will boost demand for it, she said, according to Bloomberg.

Nicholson gave overweight ratings to First Solar, Enphase  (ENPH) - Get Enphase Energy, Inc. Report, Sunrun  (RUN) - Get Sunrun Inc. Report, SolarEdge  (SEDG) - Get SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. Report and Sunnova Energy  (NOVA) - Get Sunnova Energy International Inc Report.

First Solar recently traded at $88.41, up 4.61%; Enphase was at $176.62, up 3.43%; Sunrun rose to $54.62, up 3.37%; SolarEdge rose to $274.56, up 2.72%; and Sunnova was at $35.53, up 0.59%.

The Invesco Solar ETF  (TAN) - Get Invesco Solar ETF Report traded at $86.86, up 2.25%, but has dropped 16% in the last six months.

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Meanwhile, Citigroup analyst J.B. Lowe initiated coverage on Enphase and Generac Holding  (GNRC) - Get Generac Holdings Inc. Report, rating them a buy, and on SolarEdge, rating it neutral.

Enphase is his top pick, thanks to its premium microinverter and a growing energy storage business. Generac recently traded at $393.67, up 0.27%.

In May, Bank of America upgraded First Solar to buy from neutral on fundamentals and valuation.

First Solar’s first-quarter results topped analysts' estimates. The company earned $1.96 a share on revenue of $803 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.03 a share on revenue of $785 million.

The earnings report showed potential for higher selling prices, Bank of America analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith wrote.

“The medium-term update was one of the best we’ve seen of late in terms of panel pricing outlook,” the analyst said.