MEMC’s Unusual Upgrade by Goldman Sachs

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MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) is continuing to benefit from its turnaround efforts. This morning we are tracking an unusual upgrade from a Wall St. Can this be possible? If you look at the performance of the stock lately, then the answer is a serious YES!

Goldman Sachs has raised its rating on MEMC to Buy from Hold as the company’s turnaround is underway. Investors may want to take note that the price target was also raised to $6.50 from $4.00 in this upgrade. Goldman’s new price target implies upside of another 24% in the stock, and we would note that the prior consensus price target from Thomson Reuters had been listed as $5.70. It also should be noted that anything above $5.70 represents a new 52-week high.

The long-awaited turnaround has been years in the making. The wafer producer used to be known just for semiconductors, but its rapid rise five years or so ago was due to the solar boom. That was then, and investors should put it out of their minds that this used to be a $90 stock at the peak of the solar bubble. That peak is no different from the old dot-com bubble prices of 2000. The commonality is that the old highs likely will never be seen again by most of the companies.

MEMC is indicated up about 5% so far on this upgrade. As a reminder, there were more than 16.4 million shares short as of the most recent short interest report. While that is a huge number, it is the lowest short interest in months and is now under two days to cover.

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