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Bank of America upgrades First Solar, says Street is underappreciating climate bill benefits


Markets are underappreciating the multitude of benefits available to First Solar through the Inflation Reduction Act, Bank of America said. Analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith upgraded shares of the solar stock to a buy rating and raised his price target to $141 a share. He said in a note to clients Friday that the company should gain a “significant valuation uplift” from the bill’s credits. At the same time, Dumoulin-Smith believes that these credits expand the company’s growth opportunities while also enhancing its competitive positioning in the near and distant future. The Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law earlier this month , offers a slew of rebates and tax credits to consumers for climate-related products like electric vehicles, solar panel roof installations and other energy-efficient home upgrades. “We believe this level of cash on B/S from IRA is unappreciated by the Street,” Dumoulin-Smith said. “It is unclear to us how FSLR would leverage this cash, though with stock buybacks and dividends unlikely, the only avenue in our view would be growth.” Shares of First Solar have skyrocketed nearly 40% this year and 22.7% since the start of August as oil prices soar amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The fresh price target from the bank implies that shares could gain roughly 16% from Thursday’s close price. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting

In One Chart: It’s not just inflation. People aren’t visiting clothing stores like they used to because they’re sick of loungewear.

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