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ReneSola (SOL) Reduces Q1 Guidance Due to Coronavirus Impacts

Zacks Equity Research

ReneSola Ltd. SOL recently lowered its guidance for the first quarter of 2020. The company’s overall revenues in the quarter are expected to take a hit and be significantly lower than the figures posted in the year-ago quarter.

The company also revealed the initiatives taken in recent times to counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Preliminary Numbers in Detail

ReneSola currently expects first-quarter revenues in the $18-$20 million range. The company’s updated revenue range lies below the Zacks Consensus Estimate, which is pegged at $32 million. This is also lower than the earlier projection of $30-$33 million.

Moreover, the company now expects gross margin in the range of 6-7%, which is also lower than the prior guidance of 8-10%.

However, the guidance for 2020 was unchanged.

What Led to the Dismal Guidance?

Recently, the sale closure of ReneSola's two solar projects in Hungary was delayed due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. The transaction was eventually closed on Apr 7, much later than the scheduled time in March. As a result, revenues generated from this sale will now be recognized in the second quarter. This delay has been a major contributor to the company’s lowered guidance for its first-quarter revenues and gross margin.

Initiatives Undertaken by ReneSola

As the recent impacts from the coronavirus outbreak affected the major solar markets across Europe and the United States, ReneSola implemented certain initiatives to ensure the well-being of its employees and business partners, further supporting governments’ efforts to control the pandemic. Based on a project's development stage, operations are being executed at individual projects in the United States and international locations. Moreover, construction activities are being continued at projects where all components have been delivered.

Although the pandemic has affected ReneSola’s results in the first quarter and the trend is likely to continue in the second quarter as well, the aforementioned initiatives will help the company in weathering the storm, over the long run.

Price Performance

ReneSola’s stock has plunged 30.1% compared with the industry's 6.5% decline in the year-to-date period.

 Zacks Rank & Key Picks

ReneSola currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Consol Energy Inc. CEIX, Murphy USA Inc. MUSA and Renewable Energy Group, Inc. REGI, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), at present.

Consol Energy came up with a positive earnings surprise of 3.03%, on average, in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has risen 25.9% to $2.67 over the past 30 days.

Murphy USA pulled off a positive earnings surprise of 16.61%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has moved 14.1% north to $6.41 over the past 30 days.

Renewable Energy Group delivered a four-quarter positive earnings surprise of a massive 1,379.7%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings calls for an annual improvement of 6.7% to $4.95 over the past 30 days.

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