First Solar (FSLR): S&P Intraday Laggard

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First Solar ( FSLR) was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 Wednesday morning.

The S&P 500 was down 0.65 points, or 0.05%, to 1,404.87.

Shares of First Solar declined 5.34% to $26. A report released this week from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that criticizes the Department of Energy's use of stimulus funds to make alternative energy loan guarantees shifted its focus from bankrupt solar company Solyndra to loans granted to First Solar.

"After conducting a substantial review of the Department of Energy's (DOE) loan guarantee program, it is clear that the significant losses absorbed by taxpayers as a result of Solyndra's collapse is just the beginning," the report's executive summary said. "The investigation conducted by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has uncovered numerous examples of dysfunction, negligence and mismanagement by DOE officials, raising troubling questions about the leadership at DOE and how it has administered its loan guarantee programs."

Congressman Darrell Issa (R- Calif.) issued a statement that Republicans believe giving a loan to First Solar's Antelope Valley energy generation project was a congressional authorization violation because its technology was not innovative, according to his reading of the "innovative" definition in the legislation that enacted the DOE loan program.

First Solar has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio of 5.96 times; the average for renewable energy equipment companies is 8.6. For comparison, GT Advanced Technologies ( GTAT) has a lower forward P/E of 5.08; Sunpower's ( SPWR) forward P/E is 12.92.

Twenty-seven of the 39 analysts who cover First Solar rated it hold. Six analysts gave the stock a buy rating and another six gave it a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives First Solar a C- grade and a hold rating. The stock has fallen 23.09% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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