8Point3 Energy -7% on First Solar's likely exit, but some analysts optimistic

|By:, SA News Editor

8Point3 Energy Partners (CAFD -6.9%) is sharply lower but off its earlier nadir, as sponsor First Solar (FSLR -1.7%) reviews the sale of its interest in CAFD to refocus on its Series 6 technology.

Most analysts see the news hurting CAFD shares, but Goldman Sachs recommends buying on weakness, saying the strategic review will remain a near-term overhang but the risk/reward appears highly compelling (source: Bloomberg First Word).

Guggenheim, like Goldman, maintains its Buy rating and thinks CAFD will begin to appear as a takeout target given the current share price and that FSLR is exploring alternatives.

Baird maintains its Outperform rating and says CAFD's current operating portfolio should be sufficient to support growth through 2018, and recommends the stock for longer-term investors given the quality of the underlying assets.

But analyst downgrades are plentiful, with Janney cutting CAFD to Neutral from Buy, saying CAFD’s sponsors were the primary reason for its investment thesis.

Shares also are downgraded at BofA Merrill, Wells Fargo and Oppenheimer, given the uncertainty around the strategic trajectory and growth after FY 2017.