Jefferies Bullish on First Solar ; Ups Target to $160

Jefferies & Company increased today their price target on First Solar (FSLR) to $160 from $142.

The firm’s analysts, who yesterday said the global solar sector offers stronger-than-expected growth for investors, think that First Solar — the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar power modules — will have “higher than previously expected ASPs [average selling prices] on merchant modules through 2011.”

In a research note Jefferies writes: “Given that Chinese competitors’ pricing is holding, FSLR can also hold its prices relative to competitors in a sold out environment for 2011.”

Jefferies estimates global solar sales will hit record above 12,000 megawatt this fiscal year. The firm’s analysts have also confirmed first-half 2011 prices of $1.60-1.70 per watt from a number of large distributors.

Shares of FSLR are lower on the session by 1.21%, currently trading at $145.57. Ticker closed yesterday at $147.35.

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