What happened 

Shares of Vivint Solar (NYSE:VSLR) jumped as much as 14.4% in trading on Tuesday after getting positive reports from analysts. Shares closed the day up 11%. 

So what

Goldman Sachs' Brian Lee made the biggest splash on Tuesday, upgrading a number of solar stocks. He reiterated a buy rating for Vivint Solar and raised his price target to $9 per share, from $7.50. 

Bank of America analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith kept a buy rating as well, raising his price target to $12.50, from $11.50. 

Home with solar panels on the roof.

Image source: Getty Images.

The other big news was the SEIA/Wood Mackenzie Solar Market Insight Report 2019 Q2, which was released today. The report says that residential solar installations were up 6% in the first quarter and show no signs of slowing this year. In fact, from 2019 to 2021, the analysts estimate residential solar will grow 5% to 20% annually. 

Now what

Analysts can send stocks higher or lower in the short term based on rating changes. But long term, a stock will move based on underlying performance. That's why I think the bigger news here is the solar report that shows a very bullish picture for solar installations over the next few years. If residential solar can continue to grow slowly but surely, Vivint Solar could be a great performer for investors with some patience. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.