Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ:CLNE) missed earnings with its latest full-year results, disappointing overly-optimistic analysts. It wasn't a great result overall - while revenue fell marginally short of analyst estimates at US$344m, statutory earnings missed forecasts by an incredible 33%, coming in at just US$0.10 per share. Analysts typically update their forecasts at each earnings report, and we can judge from their estimates whether their view of the company has changed or if there are any new concerns to be aware of. With this in mind, we've gathered the latest statutory forecasts to see what analysts are expecting for next year.
After the latest results, the consensus from Clean Energy Fuels's two analysts is for revenues of US$320.8m in 2020, which would reflect a perceptible 6.8% decline in sales compared to the last year of performance. Statutory earnings per share are forecast to tumble 97% to US$0.0033 in the same period. In the lead-up to this report, analysts had been modelling revenues of US$353.3m and earnings per share (EPS) of US$0.033 in 2020. From this we can that analyst sentiment has definitely become more bearish after the latest results, leading to lower revenue forecasts and a pretty serious reduction to earnings per share estimates.
It'll come as no surprise then, to learn that analysts have cut their price target 8.3% to US$5.50.
Zooming out to look at the bigger picture now, one of the ways we can make sense of these forecasts is to see how they measure up both against past performance, and against industry growth estimates. One more thing stood out to us about these estimates, and it's that Clean Energy Fuels's decline is expected to slow down, with revenues forecast to fall 6.8% next year, improving on a historical decline of 5.7% a year over the past five years. Compare this against analyst estimates for companies in the wider market, which suggest that revenues (in aggregate) are expected to decline 3.8% next year. So while it's not great to see that analysts are expecting a decline, at least Clean Energy Fuels is forecast to shrink at a slower rate than the wider market.
The Bottom Line
The most important thing to take away is that analysts downgraded their earnings per share estimates, showing that there has been a clear decline in sentiment following these results. On the negative side, they also downgraded their revenue estimates, and forecasts imply revenues will perform worse than the wider market. Analysts also downgraded their price target, suggesting that the latest news has led analysts to become more pessimistic about the intrinsic value of the business.
Still, the long-term prospects of the business are much more relevant than next year's earnings. We have analyst estimates for Clean Energy Fuels going out as far as 2021, and you can see them free on our platform here.
We also provide an overview of the Clean Energy Fuels Board and CEO remuneration and length of tenure at the company, and whether insiders have been buying the stock, here.
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