The best solar stock for earnings

Trina Solar has been on a wild ride, but here are 5 reasons to expect a surge in this stock.

By Louis Navellier Apr 28, 2010 5:21PM

louis navellier solar stocksTrina Solar (TSL) has had a rough couple of years. After a $10 IPO in 2006, it flew up to peak at $35 in 2007 -- only to bottom out under $4 at the end of 2008.

It was partially the broader market that held back Trina, but also speculation over the viability of solar power as oil prices softened.

TSL nearly became a bear market statistic. But the company has fought back from less than $3 a share to its current $25 price and there are a lot of reasons to think that Trina Solar is making a comeback. In fact, it’s one of my favorite small-cap stocks to buy this earnings season -- and here are five reasons why:

Rapidly improving earnings: Trina posted a quarterly loss to kick of 2009 as the solar industry reeled. But the three quarters since then have been very positive, showing incremental growth. In Q2 2009 TSL earned 16 cents a share. Then it more than doubled that to earn 38 cents a share in the third quarter. And in Q4, it upped the ante to 60 cents a share. That’s impressive growth for one fiscal year!

A record of big earnings surprises: That growth would be impressive enough, but low expectations make Trina’s performance even more stunning. It’s last three earnings reports boasted earnings surprises that beat Wall Street forecasts by 125%, 71% and 23% respectively. So not only is TSL growing fast, it’s growing faster than analysts expected it to.

Upwards earnings revisions: Judging by the recent spate of upward revisions to earnings estimates, we can expect another big splash from Trina when it reports on May 24. In the last 30 days, 5 experts have upped their forecasts for TSL’s full-year earnings. That means the bar is being moved higher in anticipation of another strong report from this solar stock.

Oil prices moving higher: Solar stocks crashed as oil rolled back from record highs in 2008, but crude oil prices have been slowly creeping up As crude oil continues to become more expensive – currently around almost $90 a barrel – the viability of solar energy will be more obvious to investors. Nobody was screaming for solar when gas prices rolled back to $2 a gallon, but as prices at the pump once again cross the $3 mark you can expect the focus on alternative energy to return.

Global focus: About 90% of the company's sales are in Europe, primarily from customers in Spain, Germany, Italy and Belgium, and with more incentives and government support for alternative energy there. That means Trina doesn’t live and die on U.S. climate change legislation or consumer behaviors.

So if you want to cash in on earnings, do yourself a favor and pick up a few shares in anticipation of TSL’s earnings report on May 24.Trina Solar is one of my top small cap stocks to buy for earnings.

As of this writing, Louis Navellier owned Trina Solar as part of his Emerging Growth newsletter. He has recommended the stock to subscribers since March 2010.

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