For various reasons, solar power is making its way back into the spotlight, and when it comes to solar power, there are a number of names but none have the cachet that First Solar (FSLR) does. It's an American thin film solar company and it's been profitable for years.
UBS Investment Research released a report on Friday saying the California Governor Jerry Brown has the political power brokers lined up to finally pass a law to increase California's renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) to 33% from 20%.
Also, Sarah Wasserman of Schaeffers said today:
Option players have taken a shine to First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) today, with some 31,000 contracts changing hands -- nearly triple the alternative energy issue's expected daily option volume. Calls have been especially popular, with some 19,000 of these bullishly oriented options crossing the tape.
FSLR's February 160 call has been particularly hot today, with nearly 4,300 contracts exchanged -- the majority of which traded at the ask price, indicating they were likely purchased. With FSLR hovering around $165, these 160-strike calls are comfortably in the money.
Call players may be taking advantage of FSLR's rally -- just today, the shares vaulted to a fresh 52-week peak of $167.40, roughly 10 points above their Thursday close at $157.47. In fact, since the beginning of January, FSLR has been rallying steadily along the support of its 10-week moving average, racking up gains of 21% year-to-date.
It seems that the bears are beginning to capitulate to the energy issue's technical strength, as short interest fell by 8.1% during the most recent reporting period. Despite this decrease, though, short interest still accounts for a hefty 27.5% of FSLR's total available float -- over seven days' worth of pent-up buying pressure, at the stock's average pace of trading. As the shorts continue to abandon their positions, the resulting buying pressure could be a boon for FSLR.
Well I agree Sarah. But I will add that it seems solar energy companies are finally regaining the spotlight after a long hiatus.
Theodore O'Neill, analyst at Wunderlich Securities, recently upgraded his very bearish thesis on First Solar to a price target of $125, up from $90, saying that oil prices would put a floor on First Solar shares, and notably as the First Solar bulls said it was time to ease off the gas, so it seems less convincing that Egypt alone would have been the mover for solar stocks to end the week.
This stock was stuck in a channel between 110 and 150 for a long time, now that it's more expensive, I actually like it more. At 167 it will have room to run all the way up to 250 if you can be patient enough.