BUY OR SELL-Nordex shares: headwind or tailwind?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:23pm BST

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(For more Reuters BUY OR SELL stories, click on [BUYSELL/])

* Bulls see outlook as being conservative

* Bears fear wind market will remain difficult

By Christoph Steitz

FRANKFURT, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Shares in German wind turbine maker Nordex (NDXG.DE) have lost nearly a third of their value since the beginning of the year, as a lack of project funding and weak demand is still burdening the industry.

Thomson Reuters database StarMine shows that a third of analysts covering the stock rate the company "buy", while 22 percent advise selling the stock.

BUY

"We continue to see the management guidance as being too conservative," DZ Bank analyst Mario Kristl wrote, keeping a "buy" rating on the stock.

The company expects a slight increase in 2010 sales year-on-year as well as a 4 percent rise in its full-year EBIT margin. According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, sales are expected to rise by 4.2 percent, while the company's EBIT margin is seen at 3.6 percent.

Jefferies analysts, which also rate the stock "buy", see margins growing in the longer term.

"We think the FY10 guidance ... is achievable while further incremental margin improvements drive the longer term value in the stock," they wrote.

At 4.3 percent, Nordex's 2011 EBIT margin is expected to come in slightly higher vs 2010, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S showed.

MARKET TO REMAIN TOUGH

Bryan & Garnier analyst Ben Lynch notes that Nordex shares have "massively outperformed" Danish market leader Vestas (VWS.CO) and Spain's Gamesa (GAM.MC) since the research company initiated the sector on July 29.

Nordex shares have dropped about 9 percent since July 29, compared with Vesta's 29-percent drop and a 38-percent fall in Gamesa's stock.

But Lynch cut the stock to "sell" from "buy" as he expects the market situation to remain difficult in 2010, with little upside for next year, a view that is shared by Cheuvreux analyst Philipp Bumm.

"Due to low order intake in the U.S. and the European wind turbine markets, we expect a tough 2010 for the entire sector. We maintain our cautious stance on Nordex shares," he wrote, with a "sell" rating on the stock.