NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First Solar ( FSLR) was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 on Wednesday morning. The S&P was rising 14.66 points, or 1.08%, to 1,373.25.
Shares of First Solar rose 10.29% to $23.58. The stock hit a 52-week low Tuesday of $20.03. The stock's 52-week high of $148.54 was set one year ago. Argus Research analyst Jim Kelleher said investors tend to buy shares of First Solar on dips and they are realizing the company has underlying value and that it has been dragged down by issues related to the sector. Kelleher said First Solar is "the only solar company with a strong pipeline of strong utility projects" and added that he anticipates First Solar will have stable revenue for the next few years. He has a buy rating on the stock and considers it his "most speculative buy." First Solar has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 5.53 times; the average for renewable energy equipment companies is 8.95. For comparison, GT Advanced Technologies ( GTAT) has a lower forward P/E of 4.64; SunPower's ( SPWR) forward P/E is 10.72. Twenty-seven of the 39 analysts who cover First Solar rated it hold. Six analysts gave the stock a buy rating and another six rated it hold. TheStreet Ratings gives First Solar a C- grade and hold rating. The stock has declined 30.04% year to date.