Analyst Downgrades: First Solar, Inc., Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., and Arch Coal, Inc

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR), and Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on May 26, 2015 at 9:23 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on alternative energy issue First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), as well as coal concerns Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR) and Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on FSLR, ANR, and ACI. 

  • RBC downgraded FSLR to "underperform" from "sector perform," and slashed its price target by $20 to $34, citing the company's "flattish" revenue growth forecast for this year and next. As such, the shares are pointed 4% lower ahead of the bell. Longer term, however, First Solar, Inc. is sitting on a 23.5% year-to-date lead at $55.07. Options traders have been skeptical toward the stock in recent weeks. FSLR's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 2.45 sits at the top of its annual range. Should the shares resume their longer-term uptrend, a capitulation among these doubters could result in tailwinds.

  • ANR has struggled mightily on the charts, shedding 61% year-to-date to rest at $0.65. That trend is continuing this morning, with the equity dropping 7.7% ahead of the open, after being started with an "underperform" assessment and $0.50 price target at Credit Suisse. In fact, Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. is on track to open at a new record low. Meanwhile, short sellers have been piling on. Roughly one-third of ANR's float is sold short, which would take close to 14 sessions to repurchase, at the stock's average daily trading levels.

  • Sector peer ACI is also struggling in electronic trading, after Credit Suisse slapped it with a new "underperform" rating and $0.50 price target. The bearish note has sent the shares 9.4% south of breakeven ahead of the open, putting them on pace for an all-time low. Longer term, Arch Coal Inc has surrendered nearly 63% in 2015 to sit at $0.66. Short sellers have taken note, too. Close to 23% of ACI's float is dedicated to short interest, and at its average trading volume, it would take more than three weeks to repurchase all these bearish bets.

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