New York, New York (PressExposure) March 16, 2013 -- Gilford Securities, a full-service investment firm, headquartered in New York City, reiterated their Buy rating and increased the price target for MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR) in a research report issued to clients.
The analyst wrote, "MEMC's solar energy business is establishing a strong track record after several tumultuous years. Investors are buying into MEMC as a viable competitor in solar energy deployment in mid to large scale solar projects. While this transformation has been a very difficult one for the company to say the least, we believe they have put the most vexing issues behind them and there is now more clarity to MEMC's business model as they continue to build their solar energy business. In our opinion, the shift to the downstream was a bold move by management, but, unfortunately, this move initially failed to excite investors. As a result, the stock price suffered due in part to confusion over the company's business model. However, the growth in the solar project business is cementing the company's identity as a major solar project developer while depressed panel prices continue to help increase overall solar demand. MEMC is benefitting from this trend. The company's balance sheet is showing improvement over 2012 and we would expect to see the semiconductor business to also show improvement along with the wider semiconductor market."
The analyst further stated, "We continue to believe WFR stock offers compelling value as the company fine tunes its new business model. While the stock has bounced back from $1.50 (we have been positive throughout) over the last 9 months, we believe there is still potential upside from the current level as MEMC transforms itself to being major solar project developer. The company has 827MW in backlog (backed by agreements) and 2,600MW in its pipeline. To reflect the business transformation noted throughout our report and for MEMC's track record in the past few quarters in achieving this makeover, we believe MEMC warrants a higher valuation. Further, we believe our earlier price target of $6.00 could be conservative in light of the company's growing stature as a major solar project developer."
Founded in 1979 by senior officers of the former Blythe Eastman Dillon & Co., Gilford is a full-service boutique investment firm providing an array of financial services to institutional and retail clients including corporate finance services, independent equity research, equity sales and trading, retirement planning and wealth management. The firm's research effort targets select underserved niche segments in the small and middle capitalization market sector.