Why Capstone Turbine Corporation's Shares Fell Off a Cliff Today

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

May 6, 2014 at 1:17PM

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 Capstone Turbine Corporation (NASDAQ:CPST) fell 15% today after the company's prospectus indicated a worse fiscal fourth quarter than expected, as a Seeking Alpha article pointed out.

So what: When Capstone filed the prospectus for its stock offering it also essentially prereported some important earnings figures. The prospectus says that the company expects "revenue for the year ended March 31, 2014 to be approximately $133.1 million" and goes on to say that cash was approximately $27.9 million.  

The revenue figure implies just $36.4 million in revenue during the fourth quarter, which is well below the $41.5 million expected from Wall Street and down from $37.0 million last quarter. The cash balance would be well below the $30 million target management set in November.

Now what: Capstone has long been a company that investors had high hopes for, but it continues to burn cash and can't seem to make a profit. That results in constant dilution through share offerings, which happened again last week.

CPST Chart

CPST data by YCharts.

I would be running from Capstone today and wouldn't consider buying the stock until management proves the ability to show a consistent profit. Until then, it will continue to use shareholders as a piggy bank to keep the company alive.

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Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

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Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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.

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