Trina Solar Slides on Mixed Analyst Views

CHANGZHOU, China ( TheStreet) -- Trina Solar's ( TSL) American depositary receipts slid Wednesday on mixed broker action from several solar analysts, a day after the Chinese manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products beat earnings expectations and upped its forecast for solar shipment volume.

Auriga analyst Mark W. Bachman reiterated his buy recommendation, and upped his price target by $5 to $41 per share.

Trina's beat-and-raise was expected from the "premiere name in the solar group," Bachman told TheStreet. "Most shocking to investors was Trina's first indication of 2011 demand.

Trina was so encouraged by anticipated demand that it raised its capacity numbers for growth between 40% and 50%, he pointed out. Without offering hard numbers, Trina said it expects to achieve scale of 1.5 gigawatts by the end of 2011. Bachman had expected 1.3 GW, leading him to raise his price target and earnings expectations.

The analyst now expects Trina to earn $2.73 per share in fiscal 2011, compared with his prior guidance for earnings of $2.41. Wall Street analysts' consensus call is for earnings of $2.68, according to those polled by Thomson Reuters.

Solar is a hard space to invest in," Bachman said, "because most people trade in and out based on end markets."

End-market solar prices follow governmental subsidies in most places, he explained, and annual subsidy adjustments will happen Jan. 1.

"Trina is speaking for the group and we've heard similar stories from all of Trina's Chinese peers and from First Solar ( FSLR) in the U.S.," Bachman added. By reporting last in the queue of earnings reports in the sector, Trina had more time to look at future demand and was therefore the first to give a real indication that demand in 2011 will be stronger.

"Trina is very inexpensive given these new earnings estimates," Bachman advised, "and it will be some time before investors realize the inherent profitability in the this new model."

Citigroup ( C) also raised its price target on Trina Solar's ADRs by 20% to $36 per share, and reiterated its buy rating on the Chinese solar company's stock. Citi tapped Trina Solar as its "favorite" pick in the solar sector. Research firm Ardour Capital hiked its price target on Trina Solar by 23.1% to $32 per share, from $26, and reiterated its buy rating.

All were not bullish, however.

HSBC ( HBC) issued a downgrade on Trina's stock to neutral from overweight.

Trina said Tuesday it more than doubled quarterly profits and revenue in its second quarter on record shipment volume, and expects strengthening demand for photovoltaic products to extend into 2011.

>> Trina Solar Forecasts Brighter Future

ADRs of Trina fell 1.8% in afternoon trading Wednesday, to $23.27. Shares of First Solar lost 1.3%. Suntech Power Holdings ( STP) and JinkoSolar Holding ( JKS), both based in China, fell 0.5% and 1.5%, respectively. The PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ( PBW), an exchange-traded fund that counts Trina and First Solar among its holdings, gained 0.4%. The Market Vectors Solar Energy ( KWT) ETF lost 1.7%.

--Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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