Investing

Earnings Previews: Chico's FAS, Hello Group, JinkoSolar, Li Auto

Only one earnings report of interest was released Friday morning. Chinese e-commerce company Pinduoduo missed sales estimates by a mile and the stock is getting hammered down in early trading.

Next week’s top earnings releases include expected reports from a Chinese EV maker, one Dow 30 stock, a chipmaker, an enterprise software company, and a supermarket chain.

There are no earnings reports due after markets close today and only one of general interest due before markets open Monday morning. Three more are out Tuesday morning. Here’s a look at these four firms.

Chico’s

Shares of specialty retailer Chico’s FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS) were trading up for the past 12 months by about 340% just last this past Monday. Since then the stock has dropped by almost 22% and traded down more than 12% shortly after the opening bell this morning. The generalized caution shown by investors earlier this week has taken firmer shape today with the news of a new coronavirus variant. Investors are rushing into safe havens like U.S. Treasury notes, pushing yields down by 13 basis points so far this morning. And given some weak reports recently from other retailers, the effect on Chico’s stock is probably a bit stronger than on stocks in other sectors. The company is reporting third-quarter results before markets open Tuesday.

Only two analysts cover the stock and both have given Chico’s a Hold rating. At a current price of around $5.60, the shares are trading virtually on top of the median price target of $5.63. At the high target of $6.00, the upside potential is 7%.

Third-quarter revenue is forecast at $426.1 million, down 9.7% sequentially and up 21% year over year. The adjusted loss per share is forecast at $0.03, down from adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.21 in the prior quarter, but much better than the loss per share of $0.42 in the year-ago quarter. For the full 2022 fiscal year ending in January, Chico’s is expected to post EPS of $0.17, up from a loss last year of $1.38 per share, on sales of $1.77 billion, up 33.5%.

Based on estimated EPS of $0.17 in fiscal 2022, Chico’s earnings multiple is 32.4. For the 2023 fiscal year, the multiple to estimated EPS of $0.43 is 13.1. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.38 to $7.29 and Chico’s does not pay a dividend. Total shareholder return for the past year is a negative 248%.

Hello Group

Beijing-based Hello Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MOMO) provides a mobile platform for social media and entertainment in China. Over the past 12 months, the stock has dropped by about 13%. Last week alone, the stock dropped some $27.4 million, about 6%, of its value. The company may just be too small (market cap of around $2.5 billion) to play in the same market as WeChat, Baidu, and Tencent. On Thursday, some of China’s largest state-controlled companies cracked down on employees’ use of Tencent. If it can happen to Tencent it could also happen to Momo, as the company was named until a few months ago. Hello Group reports results before markets open Tuesday morning.

Of 18 analysts covering the company, eight have given the shares a Hold rating, and the other 10 rate the shares a Buy or Strong Buy. At a current price of around $12.40, the upside potential based on a median price target of $15.48 is almost 25%. At the high price target of $29.43, the upside potential is 137%.

Third-quarter revenue is forecast at $575.4 million, up 1.2% sequentially and up 3.7% year over year. Adjusted EPS is forecast at $0.31, down 20% sequentially and down almost 32% year over year. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $1.51, down 25%, on sales of $2.3 billion, down less than 1%.

Momo’s share price to earnings multiple for the 2021 fiscal year is 8.2. For the 2022 fiscal year, the multiple to estimated EPS of $1.84 is 6.7 and for 2023, the multiple is 5.8-times estimated EPS of $2.14. The stock’s 52-week range is $10.05 to $20.99. Hello Group does not pay a dividend. Total shareholder return for the past year is a negative 13.9%.

JinkoSolar

Solar module maker JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: JKS) has dropped more than 20% of its value over the past 12 months. Between mid-August and last Friday, JinkoSolar stock had added about 70% to its share price. About a month ago the company said it would invest around $70 million to boost module manufacturing at one of its plants. The new uncertainty about a global economic recovery has been weighing on the stock for the past week. JinkoSolar reports results before markets open Tuesday morning.

Of eight analysts covering the company, five have a Hold rating on the shares and another two have a Buy or Strong Buy rating. At a current price of around $53.50, the stock traded above its median price target of $47.50. The upside potential based on the high price target of $80.20 is nearly 50%.

Third-quarter revenue is forecast at $1.39 billion, up 13% sequentially and up 7.8% year over year. Adjusted EPS is forecast at $0.02, down from $0.89 in the prior quarter and down from $1.06 in the year-ago quarter. For the full 2021 fiscal year, the current forecast calls for EPS of $2.27, down about 31%, on sales of $6.27 billion, up about 16.5%.

JinkoSolar’s share price to earnings multiple for the 2021 fiscal year is 23.5. For the 2022 fiscal year, the multiple to estimated EPS of $3.77 is 14.1 and for 2023, the multiple is 10.7-times estimated EPS of $4.99. The stock’s 52-week range is $128.39 to $85.32. JinkoSolar does not pay a dividend. Total shareholder return for the past year is a negative 22.2%.

Li Auto

Beijing-based EV maker Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI) has seen its share price fall by 22% over the past 12 months. Along with rivals Nio and Xpeng, each of these top China-based automakers has lost between 20% and 25% of their share price value in the past year. Tesla has seen its share price rise by about 90% in the same period. The whole EV sector has gone into something of a slump since Rivian’s initial burst (except Tesla, which slumped before Rivian’s IPO and then rose as Rivian slid). Future deliveries remain uncertain due to chip and parts shortages that are not expected to clear until late next year. Li Auto’s deliveries have doubled year over year, but it still trails Nio and Xpeng by a good margin. Li Auto reports third-quarter results before markets open Monday morning.

Only six brokerages cover the firm, and of those six, all rate the stock a Buy or Strong Buy. At a current price of around $31.50, the upside potential based on a median price target of $45 is about 43%. At the high price target of $62, the upside potential is nearly 98%.

Third-quarter revenue is forecast at $1.13 billion, up 45% sequentially and down 55% year over year. Adjusted EPS is forecast at $0.01, up from a loss per share of $0.01 in the prior quarter, and better than the break-even quarter last year. For the 2021 fiscal year, current estimates call for a loss per share of $0.09, compared to a loss per share of $0.10 last year, on sales of $3.92 billion, up about 171%.

After the expected loss of $0.09 per share in 2021, Li Auto is expected to post EPS of $0.03 in 2022. In 2023, the share price to earnings multiple based on EPS of $0.38 is 82.8. The stock’s 52-week range is $15.98 to $42.15. Li Auto does not pay a dividend. Total shareholder return for the past year is a negative 22.6%.