Is SunPower Stock Going to $2.50? 1 Wall Street Analyst Thinks So.

The sun isn’t going to shine on SunPower (SPWR 7.97%), at least as far as investors are concerned. That’s the latest take from an analyst tracking the solar stock. In mid-March he cut his price target significantly, maintaining a “no compelling reason to buy this,” neutral recommendation. Here’s why, and whether that evaluation is accurate.

The bears have a better case than the bulls

SunPower, a notable player in the historically struggling solar industry, can be a divisive company among stock pundits. Some feel the share price is poised to bounce higher, with a recent financing arrangement showing that it still has ready — if potentially dilutive — sources of capital. Others feel that the relatively lofty interest rates we’ve seen will continue to limit demand for expensive solar projects.

Piper Sandler‘s Kashy Harrison is more in the latter camp. He was rather assertive with his scissors, enacting a nearly 17% cut to his SunPower price target to $2.50 per share. That implies the stock will shed $0.26 of its current share value, or 16% of its current share price.

Harrison’s reduction came on the heels of both that financing news, and SunPower’s fourth-quarter results. Released in mid-February, the company missed prognosticator projections by a wide margin on both the top and bottom lines. Uncomfortably, it also reported a 28% year-over-year decline in revenue to just under $357 million, and its non-GAAP (adjusted) net income flipped far into the red (to nearly $90 million).

Saving the planet is costly

While it’s clear that solar and other forms of clean energy have a glowing future, turning the sun into growth and profitability is a challenge for even the most talented managers and salespeople. Transitioning from traditional energy sources to solar can be wrenching and expensive, a situation that isn’t helped by those comparatively high interest rates.

I think Harrison’s take on SunPower stock’s proximate future is entirely realistic, and its price might even drop further.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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