Analysts offered bullish commentary on fuel-cell maker FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) and industrial giant General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) following earnings and a partner investor day, respectively. The analysts reiterate Buy ratings on the two companies citing potential catalysts and competitive strengths.
FuelCell Energy Inc
Carter Driscoll of FBR & Co. weighed in FuelCell Energy after the company posted F1Q16 revenue of $33.5 and a loss per share of ($0.48). Though these figures are slightly weak, they came within the range of the company’s guidance. Driscoll remains bullish on the stock, citing several positive takeaways and potential upcoming catalysts.
On the bright side, the company won a substantial project from Pfizer, indicating to the analyst that “larger projects are starting to materialize.” He continues that Beacon Falls, the company’s new fuel cell plant in Connecticut, could drive over $500 million in revenue, which is larger than his initial forecast. Driscoll also points to an $8.8 million sale-leaseback transaction and a 20% year-over-year increase in total backlog as positive takeaways from the report. However, the analyst also acknowledges some negatives such as “weak gross margin from product mix as more kits were sold YOY to partner POSCO Energy” and weaker service margins than expected.
Looking forward, Driscoll anticipates a “successful bid into the tri-state RFP to establish an offtaker for the large Beacon Falls project as soon as late April,” and awards from the company’s bid for 40 MW of renewable projects, as soon as C2Q16. In light of earnings and these catalysts, the analyst has lowered his estimates “due to modestly higher debt levels” to account for “the use of more retained PPAs on the balance sheet over the next few quarters.”
Driscoll concludes, “While the nearterm effect is modestly negative, longer term, more retained PPAs should drive more consistency in revenue growth with contribution margin in the low- to mid-20% range.” The analyst reiterates his Outperform rating on the company and raises his price target from $8 to $9, pointing to the potential for several upcoming catalysts.
According to TipRanks, Driscoll has a 34% success rate recommending stocks with a 13% average loss per rating. Both analysts who have covered FCEL in the last 2 months are bullish, with an average 12-month price target of $16, marking a 118% potential upside from current levels.
General Electric Company
Credit Suisse analyst Julian Mitchell weighed in on GE Aviation following partner Safran’s investor day this past Monday. Safran is GE Aviation’s partner for its key CFM unit, which produces the CFM56 and LEAP narrowbody commercial jet engines, with the latter being the sole source on the 737 MAX and C919 aircraft, and dual source on the A320NEO family of aircraft.
Mitchell wrote, “We have received limited detail from GE on the potential headwind to earnings from the LEAP, other than the notion that the shift to the mature part of the cost curve for producing the engine should be significantly faster than it was for the wide body GEnx engine earlier this decade (due to learning from that, higher economies of scale et al.). Safran indicates that the LEAP OE margin headwind will be ~100bps in 2016, and that its annual losses will peak in 2017, before shrinking to a break-even impact in 2019.”
Although accounting differences in the two companies make it difficult to compare metrics, the analyst states that “the timing of this headwind peak is consistent with our forecast for the LEAP’s impact on GE Aviation EBIT.” The analyst refers to a previous report in which he indicated GE Aviation will perform better than its competitors through 2020, “and the Safran comments appear to support this stance.” He also notes a low ratio of shop visits for the CFM56 Gen2 19K+ installed fleet.
The analyst reiterates an Outperform rating on the company with a $34 price target.
Julian Mitchel has a 72% success rate recommending stocks with an average return of 10.1% per recommendation, according to TipRanks.
According to TipRanks, out of the 11 analysts who have rated GE in the past 3 months, 8 gave a Buy rating and 3 remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $33.20, marking a 10% upside from current levels.