Analyst Looks Mixed, but Actually Positive, on Chinese Solar Stocks

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Credit Suisse has a very mixed view on the Chinese solar stocks late this week. Analyst Patrick Jobin made a key sector call on Friday, issuing one Outperform rating with serious upside, two Neutral ratings (also with good upside) and one Underperform rating, which still had implied upside.

What investors should consider in these ratings for upside is that the Credit Suisse metrics are based on a relative basis to peers. That means that the Outperform, Neutral and Underperform ratings are relative to a sector or a basket of coverage rather than relative to the market. That is why even the Neutral ratings here have large upside projections with them.

JinkoSolar Holding Co. (NYSE: JKS) was initiated with an Outperform rating in the Credit Suisse call. What stood out here was the target price of $45.00. The stock closed at $27.81 on Thursday, and shares were up over 1% at $28.20 late on Friday. Keep in mind that the 52-week range is $7.25 to $37.98, and the consensus price target is listed as being above $40. This represents about 60% upside, if Jobin is correct in the call.

Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) was started as Neutral and with a target price of $19 at Credit Suisse. Trina Solar was trading at $12.77 late on Friday, which still implies almost 50% upside if Jobin is right. That sounds very different from a Neutral rating elsewhere — it sounds more like a Strong Buy! Trina Solar’s consensus price target is almost $19 as well.

JA Solar Holdings (NASDAQ: JASO) was also started as Neutral with a target price of $12 at Credit Suisse. With shares at $10.76 before the call and $10.84 on late Friday trading, this implies upside of more than 10%. This is nowhere close to the “neutral upside of almost 50%” of Trina Solar, but it isn’t exactly a panic call either. The consensus price target on JA Solar is $15.

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ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL) landed the Underperform rating, which signifies a “sell” rating at most firms. Still, the target price of $3.25 compared to a $2.99 close the day before. Sellers only read the headline it appears, because this ADS was down over 3% at $2.89 late on Friday. This still left almost 9% upside to the price target before the call, and it left 12% implied upside if you factor in the post-call reaction on Friday. ReneSola was shown to have a consensus price target of $3.00.