First Solar "The significant growth in U.S. solar installations (111% in 2011) has been fueled by dropping prices of solar panels," Cantor Fitzgerald analysts wrote in a May 18 report. "This made everything from residential solar to utility-scale solar financially viable. We believe that many projects will now be in limbo as developers try to make the business case with increased costs. This takes the nascent U.S. solar industry evolution out of the hands of entrepreneurs and technologists and into the hands of politicians, bureaucrats, and lawyers." Shares of First Solar hit a 52-week low on Monday of $13.37. The stock's 52-week high of $142.22 was set on June 30. First Solar's forward P/E is 3.39; the average for renewable energy equipment companies is 8.09. For comparison, SunPower ( SPWR) has a higher forward P/E of 19.66. Twenty-seven analysts who cover First Solar rated it hold. Six analysts gave the stock a buy rating and another six rated it sell. The stock has fallen 59.14% year to date.