Capstone Turbine: An Earnings Play for the Week

| About: Capstone Turbine (CPST)
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Shares of Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ:CPST) have failed to break through the two dollar mark and then hold that price for a sustained period of time, but it's possible that another round of positive sales growth and improving margins could create enough interest and momentum to finally surpass that barrier.

The company is set to report earnings on Tuesday, following a quarter of impressive sales growth and product distribution, and investors will be looking to see if the pace of working through the backlog of orders has picked up at all.

That backlog stood at $84.7 million last quarter, according to the company's last earnings report.

Although sales and orders have increased substantially during the early-goings in 2011, a heavy short interest in the CPST stock has applied enough downward pressure to have shares trading for well off the 52-week high of $2.14.

The current prices could be considered buy territory, in my opinion, especially heading into an earnings report that should be a demonstration of 'more of the same' from Capstone - which means improving numbers all the way around.

That said, the ultimate goal is to turn a profit, and Capstone is still a cash-loser. That will keep investors skittish and skeptical about going long and holding, but a couple of analyst upgrades and positive coverage from multiple media outlets might be a good indicator that the sentiment surrounding CPST is moving positive.

From Capstone's last report, these will be the numbers to beat:

Revenue for the third quarter of Fiscal 2011 was $24.2 million, an increase of 51% from the third quarter of Fiscal 2010. Capstone shipped 171 units in the third quarter of Fiscal 2011, compared to 122 units in the same period last year.

Solid proof that these numbers are continuing to improve could, in my opinion, put shares of CPST back above the two dollar mark.

With the global shift in energy moving towards greener methods of providing energy, Capstone looks to be in the right place at the right time.

Keep an eye out for Capstone come Tuesday.

Disclosure: I am long CPST.