Sit Tight on U.S. Solar Stocks: Jefferies

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Jefferies has initiated coverage on six solar stocks as part of a rollout of alternative energy coverage from analyst Jesse Pichel, formerly of Piper Jaffray. Jefferies has started all but one of the new solar stocks being covered by Jefferies, JA Solar ( JASO) with a hold rating.

The message seems to be that for some of the big name U.S. solar stocks, even after the big selloff in solar related to the euro, the debt crisis in Europe, and the German feed-in tariff reductions, there is still a better entry point ahead for some solar favorites, including First Solar ( FSLR).

Here's the breakdown:
  • JA Solar: buy and an $8 price target
  • MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR): hold and a $10 price target
  • SunPower (SPWRA): hold and a $13 price target
  • First Solar (FSLR): hold and a $138 price target
  • Solarfun Power (SOLF): hold and an $8 price target
  • Suntech Power (STP): hold and a $10 price target.
  • The new Jefferies solar team sees the growth profile for solar becoming more modest in the next two years, with the growth theme intact, but at a reduced rate of 15% in 2011 and 26% in 2012, down from 31% in 2009 and 78% in 2010.

    -- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

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