Canadian Solar +5% after winning Buy rating from Axiom's Johnson

|About: Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ)|By:, SA News Editor

Canadian Solar (CSIQ +5%) is initiated with a Buy rating and $18 price target at Axiom Capital, where solar bear Gordon Johnson compares the company to SunPower and First Solar in 2012.

Solar stocks suffered heavy hits five years ago but SPWR and FSLR realized relatively strong earnings because those companies had significantly profitable projects in their backlog, and over the next three years their shares prices surged a respective 526% and 338%; "fast forward to today, we believe Canadian Solar is in a very similar position,” Johnson tells Benzinga.

The analyst notes CSIQ’s contracts in Japan, which maintain feed-in tariffs of $0.26-$0.36 per kilowatt-hour, more than 5x the FITs offered in the U.S.

Johnson says if any or all of CSIQ's market opportunities in India, China, Brazil, the U.K. and Australia come to fruition, shares could rise to as high as $30-$40.