What happened

Shares of residential solar, battery-storage, and energy-services company Sunrun (RUN -0.59%) jumped double digits Friday after an analyst said the stock is a buy. This was in response to a 25% drop since the start of 2021. As of 1:50 p.m. EDT, shares in Sunrun were up 10.3% on the day. 

So what

Investors have spent much of the start of 2021 rotating away from more speculative, high-growth stocks like solar power company Sunrun. But Piper Sandler analyst Kashy Harrison thinks the retrenchment has gone far enough and upgraded Sunrun to the equivalent of a buy rating today. The firm assigned Sunrun shares a price target of $77, representing 63% upside from Thursday's closing price, as reported by Barron's.  

Home-owning couple talking to contractor as worker brings solar panel up ladder to roof.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The stock's decline so far in 2021 doesn't tell the full story. Going back 12 months, Sunrun shares are up more than 355%. Even with negative impacts in solar installations due to the pandemic, Sunrun managed to increase full-year 2020 revenue by 7% versus 2019. It also completed the acquisition of Vivint Solar in October 2020, helping fourth-quarter revenue grow 31% compared to the prior-year period. Management also updated expected annual cost savings from the business combination from $90 million to $120 million by the end of 2021. 

Part of analyst Harrison's thesis is the political shift toward more support for expanding the use of renewable energy, including solar. Even without the passage of a new infrastructure bill or added tax breaks, Sunrun has shown it can benefit from consumer demand that already exists.