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Power-One (Nasdaq: PWER ) is sort-of new to the solar power industry. I think it shows.
The company raised sales expectations sky-high three months ago after experiencing a tremendous growth quarter, sending the stock on a magic carpet ride over the past three months. Last night's earnings report just about erased all those gains overnight because Power-One clearly overestimated its own strength.
That's not to say that the quarter was entirely without merit. Sales jumped 157% year-over-year to $366 million, slightly above the $360 million top end of management's already rosy guidance. So far, so good -- but that's where the gravy train stops.
The revenue outlooks for the coming quarter and fiscal 2011 fell far short of estimates. To explain the disappointing guidance, management pointed to bad weather slowing down solar-panel installations in Europe, excess inverter inventory in Power-One's distributor channels, and lower energy tariffs in multiple markets. Ouch.
Analysts have turned from a Greek "buy" chorus to calling the stock "dead money." The market is taking Power-One's weakness as mildly negative news for the solar industry, sending rivals First Solar (NYSE: FSLR ) , JinkoSolar Holding (NYSE: JKS ) , and Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP ) down by a couple of percent on a generally upbeat market day. But nobody is suffering like Power-One itself.
Fellow Fool Jim Mueller sees a "classic Messed-Up Expectation opportunity" in Power-One, and that was when the stock was riding high on that terrific third-quarter report. Do you see an outsized value in the company's healthy cash flows or an overvalued growth stock screaming "dead money?" Discuss in the comments below.