Earnings Previews: Plug Power, Salesforce, Snowflake

In the first half-hour of trading on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrials were down 0.35%, the S&P 500 down 0.03%, but the Nasdaq up 0.09%.

After U.S. markets closed on Monday, Occidental Petroleum reported mixed results for the fourth quarter. Earnings per share (EPS) missed the consensus estimate by $0.22 while revenues came in essentially flat. The company did announce a new $3 billion share buyback plan and a 38% increase to its common stock dividend payment. Shares traded up 2.1% early Tuesday.

Range Resources beat consensus estimates on both the top and bottom lines. Shares traded up 5.4%.

Zoom Video hammered the consensus EPS estimate and also beat the revenue forecast. The company also said it would jump on the AI bandwagon. Shares were up 0.6%.

Before U.S. markets opened Tuesday, Target reported that it beat both top-line and bottom-line estimates and that store traffic was the primary growth driver in the company’s fourth quarter. Year over year, sales growth was 1.3%, not exactly heart-stopping, and while EPS came in higher than expected, it was down 40% from a year ago. Shares traded up 3.2%.

Norwegian Cruise Lines missed the consensus EPS estimate but did beat the revenue estimate. The company issued downside EPS guidance for both the current quarter and the full 2023 fiscal year. Shares traded down 9.9%.

After U.S. markets close on Tuesday, AMC Entertainment, HP and Rivian are scheduled to report quarterly results. Then, Kohl’s, Lowe’s and Nio are on deck to report first thing Wednesday morning.

Here is a look at what to expect when the following three companies share their latest results after Wednesday’s closing bell.

Plug Power

Over the past 12 months, shares of hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) are down by about 35%. In its business update published last month, the company cut its revenue guidance for 2022 nearly in half, citing supply chain and customer timing issues, along with delays in new product launches. Shares, which had traded up by around 40% for the year to date at that point, have since given back about 16%.

Of 31 analysts covering the stock, 24 have a Buy or Strong Buy rating and the rest have Hold ratings. At a recent share price of around $14.70, the implied gain based on a median price target of $25.00 is 70.1%. At the high target of $78.00, the implied gain is about more than 430%.

Fourth-quarter revenue is forecast at $268.76 million, which would be up 42.5% sequentially and by about 66% year over year. Analysts anticipate an adjusted loss per share of $0.25, better than the $0.30 loss per share in the prior quarter and better than the year-ago loss of $0.31 per share. For the full year, Plug Power is expected to post a loss per share of $1.07, compared to a loss last year of $0.79, on sales of $755.82 million, up 50.5% year over year.

Plug Power is not expected to post a profit until 2025. The enterprise value to sales multiple for 2022 is forecast at 8.9. For 2023 and 2024, the multiple is expected to be 4.9 and 3.1, respectively. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $11.49 to $32.05, and Plug Power does not pay a dividend. The total shareholder return for the past year was negative 35.1%.


Shares of enterprise software maker Salesforce Inc. (NYSE: CRM) have struggled over the past 12 months. The stock fell by 47% in 2022 but has recovered more than that loss in the new year. The sudden departure last month of co-CEO Brett Taylor and of Stewart Butterfield, who came to Salesforce in the Slack acquisition, unleashed a literal handful of activist investors demanding changes from now-sole CEO Marc Benioff. Demands for better operating margins are likely to lead to more layoffs. The outlook for the new fiscal year could be the deciding factor in how investors react to the quarterly report.

Of 53 analysts covering the stock, 39 have a Buy or Strong Buy rating. Another 13 rate it at Hold. At a share price of around $163.00, the upside potential based on a median price target of $200.00 is 22.7%. At the high price target of $384.30, the upside potential is 135.8%.

The consensus revenue estimate for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023 is $7.99 billion, up 2.0% sequentially and 9.0% higher year over year. Adjusted EPS are forecast at $1.36, down 2.6% sequentially but up nearly 62% year over year. For the full fiscal year that ended in January, current estimates call for EPS of $4.93, up 3.2%, on sales of $31.05 billion, up about 17.2%.

Salesforce stock trades at 33.1 times expected 2023 EPS, 27.8 times estimated 2024 earnings of $5.87 and 23.2 times estimated 2025 earnings of $7.04 per share. The stock’s 52-week range is $126.34 to $222.16. The company does not pay a dividend. Total shareholder return for the past year was negative 21.6%.


Over the past 12 months, cloud-based data platform provider Snowflake Inc. (NYSE: SNOW) has seen its share price plummet by 42.6%. It just so happens that high was posted exactly one year ago.

Last week, the company announced a new telecom data cloud that “unites” Snowflake’s platform with telecom industry solutions and data sets that customer AT&T is using to “[drive] to a single source of truth for their data across the organization where business partners can seamlessly access AT&T’s data to improve their customer experience and maximize operational efficiencies.” In other words, AT&T knows a lot about its customers, and now, with Snowflake’s help, the telecom giant is going to try to cash in on the data.

Of 43 brokerages covering the stock, 13 rate it at Hold and 28 have Buy or Strong Buy ratings. At a price of around $155.00 a share, the upside potential based on a median price target of $180.00 is 16.1%. At the high price target of $500.00, the upside potential is 222.6%.

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