CS First Boston Boosts AstroPower to 'Strong Buy'

Analyst Marko Pencak upgraded on price weakness, but he thinks the solar power manufacturer can aggressively expand at a cheaper price than its peers

CS First Boston upgraded AstroPower (APWR ) to strong buy from buy.

Analyst Marko Pencak says his upgrade is based on recent share price weakness, which he thinks is related to challenges experienced by Evergreen Solar, a peer whose share price has fallen 42% over the past two days. He notes Evergreen said it would slow capacity to save cash. Conversely, AstroPower is on track and continues to push ahead with its aggressive capacity expansion plans. The company has a much lower cost per megawatt of capacity added, and is able to profit while bringing new capacity on-stream. AstroPower's fully developed business model also is profitable.

Pencak sees $0.33 2001 EPS, and $0.96 EPS for 2002, and he has a $52 target.

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