Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on semiconductor stock Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT - 11.28), alternative energy concern First Solar, Inc. (FSLR - 16.94), and e-commerce issue MercadoLibre, Inc. (MELI - 92.86). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- UBS cut its price target on AMAT to $12 from $14, implying expected upside of just 6.4% from Friday's close at $11.28. Most brokerage firms have higher hopes, with the stock's average 12-month price target checking in at $14.47. AMAT on Friday breached support in the $11.50 area, deepening its 52-week decline to nearly 26%.
- On the heels of last week's poorly received earnings report, FSLR today was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Argus. The majority of analysts share this lukewarm opinion of the shares, with 19 out of 27 brokerage firms maintaining a "hold" rating on FSLR. The stock has shed roughly half of its value so far in 2012, and it's currently poised to open south of its freshly tagged record low of $16.80.
- MELI was cut to "sell" from "hold" at Stifel Nicolaus, just ahead of the company's first-quarter earnings report -- which is set to hit the Street after Tuesday's closing bell. MELI has racked up a healthy gain of 16.7% year-to-date, but the Argentina-based Internet stock has a mixed track record on the earnings front. In its past four quarterly reports, the company has fallen short of consensus profit estimates on two occasions. However, quite a few analysts remain upbeat, with MELI's average 12-month price target of $107.56 resting several points north of the equity's current record peak of $104.50.