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Shares of Akeena Solar, Inc. (AKNS) Jump on Analyst Initiation and $12 Target Price

Shares of Akeena Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKNS), one of the largest national installers of residential and commercial solar power systems in the United States, recently climbed 18 percent to $6.90 per share on news of an analyst initiation and $12 target price. The company’s new integrated solar panel system, Andalay, is the only solar panel system with integrated racking, wiring and grounding.

Despite the favorable coverage, the company’s first quarter earnings came in below investors’ and analysts’ expectations. Net sales for the first quarter of 2008 were $12.2 million, an increase of 94.7% compared to $6.3 million in net sales in the first quarter of 2007. The company’s net loss for the first quarter of 2008 totaled $4.6 million, or $0.16 per share, compared to a net loss of $933,000, or $0.06 per share, in the first quarter of 2007.

Initiating favorable coverage, Kaufman Brothers noted that they believe demand for residential solar is growing in the U.S. and the company’s product lineup was aesthetically superior, allowing Akeena Solar to increase market share and build brand loyalty. As oil continues to climb and energy expenses rise, solar power will register increased demand over the coming summer months. As a result, Kaufman Brothers initiated a buy rating with a $12 target price, almost 100% above current levels.

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