July 5, 2011
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: Shares of power conversion equipment manufacturer Satcon Technology (Nasdaq: SATC ) were being unplugged by investors today, falling as much as 23% in intraday trading.
So what: We're not quite in the thick of second-quarter earnings announcements yet (that's next week), but some companies are stepping up early to warn investors that results might not be as good as expected. In Satcon's case, the company chose its words carefully to soften the blow, saying that it had "narrowed" its revenue guidance … but it also lowered the range, from a spread of $50 million to $60 million down to $45 million to $47 million. The company's gross margin is also expected to be much lower than previously thought, with a range of 7% to 11% versus previous guidance of 17% to 20%. Wall Street analysts had been estimating a $0.05 per-share loss on $56 million in revenue.
Now what: The company pinned the disappointing quarter on changes in government incentives in Europe and delays in certain projects. Does this mean the quarters ahead will turn back around? The CEO seems confident that things are moving in the right direction, but given what's going on in Europe, it's hard to believe that there will be an abrupt change in the company's fortunes there.
Of course, bad quarter or not, the speculative nature of the stock -- the company hasn't strung together 12 months of profitability in nearly a decade -- means that it's unlikely it would be on my radar anyway.
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