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Barclays raises view on 8point3; Deutsche, Baird take opposing views on First Solar


MorganStanley & Co. LLC is looking more positively on 'sfuture prospects in upgradingthe company to "equal-weight" from "underweight" andupdating the price target to $47 from $43 on July 13.

In aJuly 11 note, Barclays upgraded8point3 Energy Partners LPto "overweight" from "underweight" and lifted its pricetarget by 29% to $18, suggesting that the yieldco has demonstrated its abilityto remain "nimble" in its acquisition strategy, namely in 8point3'sdecision to pursue the purchase of FirstSolar Inc.'s planned 280-MW California Flats solar project insteadof First Solar's planned 250-MW Moapa project.


S&PGlobal Equity Research on July 7 lowered its view on to "sell" from "hold,"saying the shares are overvalued. The firm, however, raised the 12-month targetby $5 to $77 on higher peer valuations.

DeutscheBank Securities Inc. on July 6 downgradedshares of First Solar "hold" from "buy" and slashed its price target to $44from $80. The downgrade was driven by a slower-than-expected ramp in bookings,a likely pause in demand ahead of the series 5 ramp, and potential increase inpricing pressure driven by an aggressive bidding environment from developers ininternational segments.

"Eventhough [First Solar] remains one of the best run companies in our coverage, webelieve it would be difficult for management to grow earnings amidst some ofthe expected near term headwinds," Deutsche Bank analyst Vishal Shah noted.

EvercoreISI analysts moved to downgradeConsolidated Edison Inc.,Edison Internationaland NiSource Inc.,citing concerns that post-Brexit premiums on some utility stocks could be outof step with otherwise modest earnings growth expectations.

In aJuly 6 note, Evercore dropped Consolidated Edison and NiSource to "sell"from "hold," while knocking Edison International down to "hold"from "buy."

Notable reiterations

In aJuly 11 note, Guggenheim heldPattern Energy Group Inc.shares at "buy," while assigning a higher $28 price target, roughly16% higher than the stock's $24.07 close on July 11.

Guggenheimsuggested Pattern's recent acquisition of the 324-MW Broadview wind project for$269 million is immediately accretive to the stock, and expects cash availablefor distribution to increase to about $167 million from $153 million with thedeal.

RobertW. Baird & Co. on July 8 heldits "outperform" rating on FirstSolar Inc., lowered the price target to $60 from $68, and moved its2017 earnings-per-share estimate down to $2.51, compared to the bearish $44price target and $1.50 estimated EPS in 2017 posited by Deutsche Bank.

"Given[First Solar]'s strong balance sheet, international pipeline, and continuedtechnology advancements, we believe the company is positioned for long-termgrowth and would be aggressive buyers of shares at current levels," Bairdanalyst Ben Kallo said in a July 8 note.