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Broadwind gets JPMorgan’s top rating, shares up

A recovery in the wind energy sector starting in the second half of the year will boost sales growth for Broadwind Energy Inc., a JPMorgan analyst said Tuesday.

Shares rose rose 41 cents, or 8 percent, to $5.52 in afternoon trading after JPMorgan analyst Christopher Blansett started coverage on the company at “Overweight,” with a price target of $6.50.

Broadwind supplies equipment, transportation and engineering services for the wind energy industry.

The U.S. wind market will grow by at least 25 percent per year over the next three years, Blansett said in a note to investors. Lower costs from easier credit and lower commodity prices, as well as a government subsidy lasting until the end of 2012, should help support wind power, he said.

More foreign turbine makers interested in growing their U.S. business are likely to buy components from Broadwind, helping it grow faster than its peers, Blansett said. He also believes Broadwind’s two largest customers, GE Wind and Clipper Wind, could ramp up orders soon.