NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup ( C) became the latest Street firm to initiate coverage of the three main Chinese solar module makers on Monday, initiating on Trina Solar ( TSL), Yingli Green Energy ( YGE) and Suntech Power ( STP). Nothing new here folks, in terms of the Citi bullish view of the vertically integrated Chinese solar module companies: Buy Trina. Citi upped the ante in terms of a price target on Trina, initiating at $30. Last week, Collins Stewart analyst Dan Ries upped his Trina price target to $29. The more interesting call from Citi was on the negative side. Citi reserved its harshest view for Suntech, initiating at a sell and a $7 price target. Suntech shares have already been beaten down to the $9-$10 level in the recent euro-triggered solar selloff and were losing 5% early on Monday after the Citi initiation. Suntech is already a dog on the Street due to its cost structure relative to Trina and Yingli, but the $7 price target would take Suntech to a 52-week low.
Citi rated Yingli a hold and gave the Chinese solar module maker a $15 price target. The $15 target represents 25% upside from Yingli's current $12 share price. Yingli was down more than 2% early on Monday morning. Trina was up more than 1% after the Citi buy call. -- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.