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Plug Power (PLUG) to Post Q1 Earnings: What's in the Offing?

Plug Power Inc. PLUG is expected to release first-quarter 2021 results later this week.

The company reported better-than-expected results in two of in the last four quarters, while missing estimates twice. Earnings surprise for the last four quarters was 0.21%, on average. In the last reported quarter, the company’s loss per share of 5 cents was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 8 cents.

In the past six months, shares of the company have surged 30.4% compared with the industry’s growth of 26.5%.

Factors at Play

Plug Power is likely to have benefited from the growing popularity of fuel cell engines and hydrogen stations in the first quarter of 2021. Strength in the company’s core material handling, on-road and stationary power markets, along with its efforts to boost sales channels, are likely to have supported its top-line performance in the quarter.

Given the company’s strong product portfolio, including ProGen and GenDrive fuel cell solutions, its efforts to expand and strengthen its global presence through multiple strategic partnerships are anticipated to have been beneficial in the quarter. For instance, its partnership with Groupe Renault has enabled it to enter into the fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicle market in Europe, and the same with SK Group has been helping it expand its presence in Asian markets.

In addition, Plug Power is likely to have benefited from its focus on product development, supply chain initiatives and efforts to achieve greater operational efficacy in the to-be-reported quarter.

On the flip side, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the demand for the company’s products and supply chain are expected to get reflected in its first-quarter results.

Further, international operations have exposed Plug Power to risks arising from unfavorable movements in foreign currencies and geopolitical issues, which might have hurt it. In addition, higher costs and operating expenses are expected to have affected it.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter loss per share is pegged at 8 cents, indicating an improvement from a loss of 12 cents recorded in the year-ago-quarter. The consensus estimate for revenues of $79 million suggests a 92.7% increase from the prior-year reported figure.

Earnings Whispers

According to our quantitative model, a stock needs to have the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy), or at least 3 (Hold) to increase the odds of an earnings beat. But that is not the case here as we will see below.

You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Earnings ESP: Plug Power has an Earnings ESP of -4.35.

Plug Power, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Plug Power, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Plug Power, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank: The company carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Key Picks

Here are some companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to deliver an earnings beat this season:

Agilent Technologies, Inc. A has an Earnings ESP of +1.57% and is presently Zacks #2 Ranked. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

AutoZone, Inc. AZO has an Earnings ESP of +3.17% and a Zacks Rank of 3 at present.

SPX FLOW, Inc. FLOW has an Earnings ESP of +10.61% and a Zacks Rank #3, currently.

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