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First Solar Lifted to Buy at Bank of America on Fundamentals

First Solar's shares were upgraded to buy at Bank of America on fundamentals and valuation. They'd slid after Thursday’s earnings report.
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First Solar  (FSLR) - Get First Solar Inc. Report on Monday was upgraded at Bank of America to buy from neutral on fundamentals and valuation, after the stock slid following Thursday’s earnings report.

The Tempe, Ariz., solar-equipment maker’s stock gave up 12% on Thursday. 

It recently traded at $75.75, off 1%. It has also traded on Monday up as much as 1.6% at $77.74. It has lost 14% over the past six months.

First Solar’s first-quarter results topped analyst 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, according to Bloomberg. “The medium-term update was one of the best we’ve seen of late in terms of panel pricing outlook.”

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President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal also is “likely to drive elevated investor sentiment for FSLR,” he said. All this should blunt the short-term headwinds facing First Solar, Dumoulin-Smith said.

Last week Citigroup analysts upgraded First Solar to buy and raised its price target to $100 a share from $88. 

Analyst J.B. Lowe sees multiple positives ahead for the company, including the potential inclusion of a 10-year solar tax credit extension and the revival of the manufacturing tax credit.

He also said U.S. trade policy will help First Solar, including the extension of tariffs on imported Chinese panels and possible sanctions against Xinjiang-sourced solar products.

Also in April, the company said it completed the previously announced sale of its utility-scale solar project platform of 10 gigawatts to Leeward Renewable Energy.