SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) investors got cold feet this morning, sending shares tumbling nearly 10% in early trading. The reason? The solar panel maker’s stock got downgraded.
In a research report issued today, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch downgraded SPWR stock from Outperform to Perform, while removing his $13 price target completely. (To watch Rush’s track record, click here)
Rusch commented, “While SPWR appears to be navigating the Section 201 process judiciously and proactively monetizing project assets to de-lever the balance sheet, we believe uncertainty on cost structure and possible restructuring warrants stepping to the sidelines on SPWR shares for now. As management works through its strategic planning process, we believe investors will gain clarity on manufacturing margins and Section 201 tariffs in ~60-90 days. We believe SPWR has meaningful opportunities for optimizing its business and has proven effective historically evolving with the gyrations of the solar industry. We continue to be bullish on SPWR’s Helix and Equinox products. If SPWR can obtain an exemption from Section 201 tariffs and clarify its cost reduction path, we would look to get more constructive on shares.”
“As we update our estimates to reflect management’s 1Q18 and FY18 estimates, we move our rating to Perform and remove our $13 PT. Our updated estimates reflect FY18 GAAP revenue of $1.8B (was $2.4B), and we introduce our FY19 GAAP revenue estimate of $2.1B,” the analyst concluded.
SPWR certainly has the Street divided. Based on 14 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 12 months, 6 rate a Hold on SunPower stock, 3 issue a Buy, while only one recommends a Sell.