We're more than halfway through earnings season, but there are still plenty of earnings surprises yet to come. Thus far we've seen generally better-than-expected corporate earnings and predominantly bullish outlooks, potentially signaling that analysts underestimated the strength of the economy. What this means for investors is a possible chance to pick up high-growth companies before they report what could be breakout quarterly profits.
1. Rising oil prices
Oil and solar stocks trading in tandem might seem odd, but it actually makes much more sense than you'd think. Rising oil prices often lead to higher fuel prices, which create an immediate demand from consumers for alternative sources of energy. It's in everyone's best interests to move toward more efficient energy sources, but this often happens only when oil hits uncomfortable levels above $80 per barrel. Oil is a cyclical commodity that usually rises well into the summer months, so we could be facing a major push toward solar panels later this year as new sources of electrical generation are tapped.
2. Competitors showing strength
It's always a smart idea to look at a company's sector to see how it's performing compared with its peers. With JA Solar reporting later this week, it pays to note that LDK Solar
3. New orders remain strong
JA Solar has reported a steady stream of new orders for its monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar cells, which should translate into better margins and a significant boost in revenue. Goldman Sachs predicts that Chinese GDP will rise another 10% in 2011, and you can bet that the energy needs for that growing economy and population are rising, too. JA Solar should not be hurting for business, and its outlook could signify that.
JA Solar is also trading at only 5.3 times its forward P/E and a PEG ratio of just 0.34. It just might electrify investors with a possible earnings beat, before the market opens on Tuesday, but makes for an intriguing value play if nothing else at these levels. Now only time will tell whether JA Solar can deliver.
What do you think? Will JA Solar report an electrifying quarter, or will it fizzle out? Leave a comment below.
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Fool contributor Sean Williams owns no shares in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong. First Solar is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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 that's always cutting-edge.