BUZZ-Canadian Solar Inc: Barclays downgrades to "equal weight"

Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:40am EDT
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** Solar panel maker's shares down 2.2 pct at $13.16 premarket

** Barclays downgrades to "equal weight" from "overweight"; slashes PT by 42 pct to $14

** Analysts see unavoidable risks to 2017 estimates, driven by module overcapacity driving margin pressure, coupled with softening 2017 U.S. utility-scale demand.

** Barclays analysts now expect gross margin of 12.7 pct in 2017, down from estimated 16.2 pct in 2016

** "We prefer to weather the storm in less levered or more stable names and, among solar comparables, recommend FSLR (First Solar Inc) and CAFD (8point3 Energy Partners LP) for investors looking for exposure to the solar space," they write

** 6 of 9 brokerages rate the stock "buy" or higher, 2 "hold" and 1 "sell"; their median PT is $20

** Up to Tuesday's close, stock had more than halved in value YTD