Earnings season is winding down, with most companies already having reported their quarterly results. But there are still some companies left to report, and FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) is about to release its quarterly earnings report. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarter reports is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed kneejerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Alternative energy has become extremely popular lately, and FuelCell Energy is one of the latest players to tackle the challenge of creating viable fuel-cell technology for everyday use. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with FuelCell Energy over the past quarter, and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report on Monday.

Stats on FuelCell Energy



Analyst EPS Estimate


Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$34.8 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will FuelCell Energy gain power this quarter?
Analysts haven't moved their estimates for FuelCell's most recent quarter, but they've been a bit less optimistic about its full-year 2013 results, widening their loss estimates by $0.03 per share. The stock has managed to recover fairly substantially, though, rising more than 25% since early December.

This time last year, FuelCell was flying high on news that POSCO (NYSE:PKX) subsidiary POSCO Energy intended to expand its partnership with the company, investing another $30 million in FuelCell to bring its total equity position up to 22%, and buying 120 megawatts of fuel-cell capacity for delivery over the next four years. Yet, the share-price gains from that transaction didn't hold, and FuelCell's stock languished throughout much of last year.

Yet, the company hasn't stopped making deals. In December, FuelCell announced that Dominion Resources (NYSE:D) would develop a 14.9 megawatt fuel-cell-based power generation facility in Connecticut, producing electricity for 15,000 homes. More recently, the company said it would use landfill gas to help power a fuel-cell plant in British Columbia, demonstrating the company's flexibility to make use of hydrogen from any number of sources.

Moreover, FuelCell has plenty of potential from the rising demand for electric vehicles. Working with Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD), FuelCell has been helping to develop hydrogen fueling stations for fuel-cell electric vehicles. Although these vehicles are still years away from production, they'll have definite benefits in terms of refueling over current electric-vehicle technology.

In its quarterly report, watch closely to see if FuelCell is making any headway toward getting closer to profitability. After flirting with the break-even point early in 2012, FuelCell needs to make a final push ahead in order to get itself into the black and justify long-term investors' faith in the company.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Dominion Resources. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.