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Why Shares of Canadian Solar Inc. Popped 20% Today

By Travis Hoium - Aug 18, 2016 at 11:44AM

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A good earnings report may be masking challenges ahead.

Image source: Getty Images.

What: Shares of solar panel maker Canadian Solar Inc. ( CSIQ -7.67% ) jumped as much as 20.4% in trading Thursday after reporting second quarter earnings. At 11:00 a.m. EDT shares were still up an impressive 18.1%.

So what: Module shipments in the quarter were 1,290 MW, ahead of guidance of 1,200 MW to 1,250 MW. That helped drive revenue of $805.9 million and net income of $40.4 million, or $0.68 per share. Results easily topped Wall Street's estimate of $717.5 million in revenue and $0.37 per share in earnings. 

Management said full-year module shipments would be 5.4 GW to 5.5 GW and revenue would be $3 billion to $3.2 billion, both the same as previous expectations.

Now what: The market loves the earnings beat in the second quarter, but solar companies shouldn't have a problem making money in 2016. It's 2017 that's a concern and Canadian Solar did little to ease any fears investors may have. To show the challenge, the company has 1,185 MW of projects it will complete in the U.S. in the second half of 2016 and just 52 MW signed for 2017. That could lead to a big decline in profits next year.

Hitting second quarter numbers is certainly a positive, but investors should be more concerned about 2017 than 2016. And Canadian Solar did very little to ease those fears today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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