Dueling Solar Views: Pricing vs. Market Share

Today’s dispatches from the land of the sun reflect caution and opportunity as regards the solar energy technology business. Analyst Gordon L. Johnson with Hapoalim Securities writes in an initiation-of-coverage report on the solar stocks that the credit crunch could hurt solar panel demand because installation of panels is funded up to 70 percent by debt. Johnson’s report, titled “Dancing in the Dark,” specifically recommends an “Underperform” rating on Suntech Power Holdings (STP), with a price target of $16.

Conversely, Lehman–I mean, Barclay’s Capital–research analyst Vishal Shah writes in a note today that he is lowering his estimates for First Solar (FSLR), dropping his 2008 profit per share estimate from $3.78 to $3.60, and from $7.50 to $6 in 2009, and from $11 to $9 in 2010, given reduced expectations for foreign exchange benefit thanks to a “deteriorating Eurozone outlook.”

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