Power-One Popped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Power-One (Nasdaq: PWER  ) beat earnings estimates last night, sending the shares sharply up this morning, then down just as sharply minutes later -- forming a spike sharp enough to give any vampire in your neighborhood a powerful case of heartburn this Halloween weekend.

So what: With Q3 revenues of $314 million, and earnings of $0.40 per share, Power-One easily beat consensus estimates. Even better for the bulls, management forecast fourth-quarter sales to be as much as 21% ahead of estimates on strong demand for solar inverters, with profit margins moving higher.

Now what: I hesitate to call this a "buying opportunity" for one reason only: the obvious "knee-jerk" reaction of the initial stock price jump. Power-One didn't even put out a press release to announce earnings (only filing them with the Securities and Exchange Commission), so it's clear most investors hopped a momentum train before even reading the report.

That said, I have read the report, and here's what it says: Revenues more than tripled, while cost of goods sold rose "only" 140%, and operating costs a bare 28%. Operating margin looks to be about 25.1% so far this year, which beats power equipment peers Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR  ) and American Superconductor (Nasdaq: AMSC  ) -- and is way better than unprofitable Satcon Tech (Nasdaq: SATC  ) . Inventories are up just 62%, so I see no channel stuffing going on here.

With newfound profits that give it a low P/E of 11, everything here looks good to me.

Want to more information on Power-One? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.

Emerson Electric is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection, but Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.

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  • Report this Comment On October 29, 2010, at 1:20 PM, chammond55 wrote:

    The immediate pop was short-covering, as ~36% of the float was short...not just 'pure' momentum. The subsequent price slide should certainly be seen as a good entry point...

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Rich Smith

I love things that go "boom." Sonic or otherwise, that means I tend to gravitate towards defense and aerospace stocks. But to tell the truth, over the course of a dozen years writing for The Motley Fool, I have covered -- and continue to cover -- everything from retailers to consumer goods stocks, and from tech to banks to insurers as well. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace news, and other great stories besides.

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