UBS Upgrades First Solar to 'Buy'

Shares of First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) ticked up Monday after UBS raised the solar energy producer’s rating to “buy” from “neutral".

UBS analyst Stephen Chin cited higher-than-expected global demand for solar panels over the next few years as the reason for the upgrade, according to an Associated Press report. He also raised his 12-month target price for shares to $150 from $136, according to the report.

The move came shortly after the company reported last month a 12% increase in second quarter sales, to $587.9 million from $525.9 million, and upped its forecast of global solar demand in 2010 and 2011 by nearly one third.

Shares of First Solar closed up more than 1% Monday to $126.29, on volume of 1.72 million, down slightly from average volume of 1.95 million.