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Canadian Solar (CSIQ) Q1 Earnings: Stock Poised to Beat

Ontario, Canada-based Canadian Solar Inc. CSIQ will release first-quarter 2016 financial results before the opening bell on May 11. Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 40.00%.

Let's see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Canadian Solar is likely to beat earnings because it has the right combination of two key ingredients. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) to be able to beat estimates, and Canadian Solar has the right mix.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is +146.15%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at 32 cents, much higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 13 cents. This is a meaningful indicator of a likely positive earnings surprise for the company.

Zacks Rank: Canadian Solar has a Zacks Rank #3, which when combined with the company’s positive ESP, makes us reasonably confident of an earnings beat this season.

Conversely, Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or #5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement, especially when the company is witnessing negative estimate revisions.

What is Driving the Better-than-Expected Earnings?

During its fourth-quarter earnings call, Canadian Solar provided an outlook for the first quarter of 2016. It expects shipments in the range of 1,085 megawatts (“MW”) to 1,135 MW. Total revenue is anticipated to be $645 million to $695 million, with gross margin of 12–14%.

Going forward, Canadian Solar has plans to increase the capacity of its products. By the end of this year, the company hopes to attain wafer capacity of 1.0 gigawatt (GW), cell capacity of 3.9 GW and module capacity of 5.73 GW.

Meanwhile, during the first quarter, Canadian Solar added five solar power plants with a capacity of 22.9 MW-peaks (“MWp”) to its UK solar fleet, bringing the total capacity of the operating plants to 63.1 MWp. The company also brought online three solar photovoltaic (“PV”) plants in Japan with a total capacity of about 6.2 MWp.

Canadian Solar also supplied 2.8 MW of the CSI-28/36-KTL-CT three-phase inverters to Brar Family Partnerships in Delano, CA, during the quarter. These initiatives are expected to fuel top-line growth at the company.

We note that Canadian Solar has a strong pipeline of projects and is known for its strategic moves that further consolidate its position. An increasing number of global utility-scale projects at the company are also encouraging.

A Stock to Consider

Here is another solar stock you may want to consider, as our model shows that it has the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Trina Solar Limited TSL has an Earnings ESP of +43.48% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release first-quarter 2016 results on May 19.

Peer Releases

SunPower Corp. SPWR reported first-quarter 2016 adjusted loss of 42 cents per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of loss of 23 cents by 82.6%. In the year-ago quarter, the company had reported earnings of 5 cents.

First Solar Inc. FSLR reported first-quarter 2016 earnings of $1.66 a share, sweeping past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 91 cents by 82.4%. The reported number was also a reversal from the prior-year loss of 61 cents, reflecting higher sales, gross profits, operating income and lower expenses.

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TRINA SOLAR LTD (TSL): Free Stock Analysis Report
FIRST SOLAR INC (FSLR): Free Stock Analysis Report
CANADIAN SOLAR (CSIQ): Free Stock Analysis Report
SUNPOWER CORP-A (SPWR): Free Stock Analysis Report
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