As of yesterday it was clear the much-beloved rally since mid-Ocotber lows was running on fumes. Today, the rally is starting to sputter. The S&P 500 logged its first lower low and lower high in over a week on Wednesday, yet disinterested investors didn’t migrate to gold or bonds either. Mostly, it appears traders are content to head to the sidelines and wait for the other proverbial shoe to drop, whatever that shoe may be.
That being said, there were still plenty of dramatic losers today. The worst of the worst on Wednesday were Plug Power Inc. (PLUG), SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS), and Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ). Here’s why.
SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS)
SeaWorld Entertainment was torpedoed by shareholders on Wednesday, with the stock sinking 9.4% after the organization missed earnings estimates. The aquatic theme park company was supposed to earn $1.13 per share, but instead only posted a profit of $1.01 per share. Either figure was alarmingly lower than the comparable year-ago figure of $1.34, but the wide shortfall really — and understandably — spooked the market.
While SeaWorld didn’t explicitly acknowledge the reason in the conference call or the earnings press release, the negative impact of last year’s “Blackfish” documentary regarding captive killer whales appears to be keeping some visitors away. SeaWorld saw a 5.2% decline in park traffic, while other theme parks have seen an increase in attendance for the same period.
Plug Power (PLUG)
Traders have been willing to overlook a frothy valuation and habitual losses from fuel cell outfit Plug Power, as long as the organization was able to meet the market’s oddly low expectations. The company couldn’t even do that today, however, and owners of PLUG stock paid a steep price for it.
To give credit where it’s due, the total quarterly loss narrowed on a year-over-year basis, for $15.9 million then to a net loss of $9.4 million this time around. That translates into a loss of 4 cents per share. Problem: Analysts were only expecting a loss of 3 cents per share. Revenue was disappointing too. The pros had projected a top line of $24.4 million, but Plug Power only posted sales of $19.9 million.
The end result was a 16.5% plunge for Plug Power stock today.
Canadian Solar (CSIQ)
Just when it looked like Canadian Solar shares would be able to recover from their nasty pullback in early October, traders pulled the rug out from underneath the stock again. CSIQ lost nearly 11% of its value on Wednesday following the release of the company’s earnings for last quarter.
It wasn’t trailing results that crushed CSIQ stock. Canadian Solar posted a profit of $1.75 per share, leaving both the average estimate of $1.16 and last year’s Q3 bottom line income of 56 cents per share in the dust. No, the catalyst that hit CSIQ stock today was guidance. Canadian Solar said it expects to generate revenue between $925 million and $975 million for the current quarter… a range entirely below analyst estimates of $977.4 million for the period.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.