First Solar ( FSLR) was moving higher Thursday afternoon after an analyst raised his price target on the shares. First Solar was up 4.7% to $142.03 on volume of more than 2 million shares after Pacific Crest analyst Mark Bachman raised his goal for the Tempe, Ariz.-based solar module maker's shares to $227 from $209. "Although significant fear permeates the market due to (macroeconomic) concerns regarding project financing, module oversupply and falling crystalline silicon module prices, we continue to believe that First Solar will navigate the challenging environment better than its peers," he wrote in a note to clients. First Solar likely will see costs drop faster than the average selling price for solar products, which should lead to higher profits in 2009 and 2010, said Bachman, who kept an outperform rating on the stock.
Bachman forecasts 2009 earnings of $7.89 per share, up from a previous $7.17 estimate. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect EPS of $6.46 in 2009. Elsewhere in the solar space, shares of SunPower ( SPWRA) were up 10.3% to $25.81. JA Solar ( JASO) was rising 7.6% to $3.40 as more than 2.4 million shares moved. Energy Conversion Devices ( ENER) was up 7.5% to $14.95 on volume of more than 1.6 million shares. Yingli Green Energy ( YGE) was up 9.7% to $7.22 on volume of more than 4.3 million shares. Canadian Solar ( CSIQ) shares were up 4.9% to $6.86. LDK Solar ( LDK) was up 3.8% to $8.03 as more than 2.8 million shares traded. But Barron's Online reported that research firm Wedge Partners expects the company to fall short of the low end of its first-quarter revenue guidance. Trina Solar ( TSL) was up 5.4% to $12.94.