JPMorgan has decided to make some key solar ratings changes this morning. The firm is cautious on the valuation of some in the position of a declining market trend right now, but there are some key takeaways here that are up as well. Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENER) and Evergreen Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: ESLR) are up, while shares of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) are getting slapped on this call today.
Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTI) was upgraded to Neutral from Underweight; no trade indications have been seen as this is a low-impact change. Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENER) was initiated with an Overweight; shares are trading up 4%. Evergreen Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: ESLR) was the surprise winner as it was upgraded to Overweight from Underweight; its shares are up 10% at almost $2.40 in pre-market trading. SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWRA) was also upgraded, but only to “Neutral” from Underweight; no trade indications have been yet.
The standout in the group is unfortunately the leader of the whole solar sector. First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight. Shares are still seeing thin volume but are indicated down 2% at $152.00.
As a group, JPMorgan thinks it is best to remain defensive and cautious because of a double-dip possibility. The Evergreen and Energy Conversion ratings are based on less downside risk. There is a fear of continued subsidy cuts in Germany and the EU, and that is the pan for First Solar.
Jon C. Ogg
July 2, 2009