Why SolarCity Corp Shares Slipped

Does this analyst make a good case? Or is it just more noise from Wall Street?

Brian D. Pacampara, CFA
Brian D. Pacampara, CFA
Jan 21, 2014 at 2:00PM
Energy, Materials, and Utilities

While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a look at particularly stock-shaking analyst upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.

What: Shares of SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY.DL) slipped 1% today after JPMorgan downgraded the solar energy systems company from Overweight to Neutral.

So what: Along with the downgrade, analyst Paul Coster maintained his price target of $68, representing about 10% worth of downside to Friday's close. While momentum traders might be attracted to SolarCity's red-hot stock price, Coster believes that Wall Street might be overlooking some of the headwinds working against the company.

Now what: According to JPMorgan, SolarCity's risk/reward trade-off is pretty balanced at this point. "We believe that fundamentals remain constructive; the firm is doing an excellent job of reducing the cost of finance, expanding market reach, and increasing efficiency; however, at this price level some of the exogenous risks come into focus, including rising interest rates, competition, and growing opposition to distributed solar from utilities," noted Coster. Of course, when you consider just how juicy SolarCity's long-term growth prospects seem to be, I wouldn't be so quick to take too much off the table.