2 Stocks at New Lows After Earnings

Shares of FSLR and FLEX are getting pummeled today

Oct 26, 2018 at 10:30 AM
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The broader U.S. stock market is deep in the red today due to a round of disappointing corporate earnings. Two names in particular down after quarterly updates are alternative energy concern First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) and manufacturing issue Flex Ltd (NASDAQ:FLEX). Let's take a closer look at how shares of FSLR and FLEX are getting smacked today.

Losses Pile Up for FSLR Shares

FSLR shares are off 7.7% at $40.14, hitting an annual low of $39.90 already. Investors are reacting to the company's lowered full-year earnings and sales outlook, and analysts are lowering their outlooks, as well. J.P. Morgan Securities and Credit Suisse lowered their respective price targets to $75 and $53, though JMP Securities upgraded the stock to "market perform" from "market underperform."

After a strong start to the year, First Solar has been hammered, losing more than half its value since an April peak north of $81. There's risk for more bearish analyst notes to come through and keep the pressure on, since seven of 13 covering brokerage firms have "strong buy" or "buy" ratings.

Put Buyers Cheer FLEX Collapse

The sell-off is even more dramatic in shares of FLEX, which were last seen down 32.4% at $7.37, and earlier hit new low of $7.08, the lowest point in almost five years. Sparking this move was a revenue miss for the third quarter, on top of news the company's CEO is retiring and it's winding down its Nike (NKE) operation in Mexico. Needham responded with a downgrade to "hold" from "buy," and Craig-Hallum cut its price target to $14 from $17.50. Flex stock has been decimated this year, as it came into 2018 trading near $18.

This horrible price action has drawn the attention of put buyers, who really picked up activity ahead of the earnings release. For example, the 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at 1.93, ranking in the bearish 91st annual percentile.


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