Categories Analysis, Energy

Earnings Preview: Improved industry macros to help Canadian Solar in Q4

The solar industry has been affected across the board last year due to tariff wars between the US and China, the oversupply of solar modules resulting in falling prices and lower demand impacted the solar companies. However, things are turning better in 2019 with global demand expected to increase with more capacity additions would be a welcoming sign for the industry.

The positive momentum is reflected in the preliminary results of Canadian Solar (NASDAQ: CSIQ). Last month, the company revised upward the key business metrics for the Q4 period. Investors are upbeat about the growth prospects with the stock up 63% this year.

Canadian Solar now expects Q4 module shipments to be between 1.90 GW and 1.95 GW, increase from the previous outlook of 1.67 GW to 1.72 GW. Revenue is now forecasted in the range of $850 million to $900 million, compared to the earlier outlook of $690 million to $800 million.

Analysts are expecting the solar firm to report earnings of $1.01 per share, flat over last year. Revenue is slated to come in at $872 million, which is in line with the company’s estimates. Canadian Solar is scheduled to report its fourth quarter 2018 tomorrow before the market opens.

Related: Vivint Solar Q4 results

Falling solar module prices would benefit the firm with improved margins as it deploys more solar panels for its utility-scale projects. With increased demand for large solar projects coupled with falling module prices is going to help Canadian Solar to report solid growth in 2019.

Investors would be interested in knowing from the management about any possible impact due to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) bankruptcy filing. Canadian Solar currently has exposure to power purchase agreements and a couple of interconnection agreements with PG&E. In the preliminary results, the company had stated that the projects haven’t been impacted because of the bankruptcy filing.  However, more updates would be expected by analysts from the firm in the earnings call tomorrow.

Last quarter, Canadian Solar surpassed analyst estimates on earnings but missed the mark on revenue. Total revenue dropped 15.8% to $768 million, missing the consensus estimate of $806 million. EPS came in at $1.09 per share compared to $0.46 per share expected by the street.

Listen to on-demand earnings calls and hear how management responds to analysts’ questions

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