Otter Tail (OTTR) Misses Estimates & Guides Lower

Bill Gates continues to get hammered by the OTTR.  As a significant owner of the stock (he recently added more), he’s getting hit again today after Otter Tail (OTTR) missed estimates and guided lower for next year.  The company reported 4Q EPS of .38/share which missed estimates of .45/share, a 17% drop over the year ago quarter and the 4th straight quarter of negative growth.  The company also missed on revenues, reporting $334 million vs the $363 million estimate (just a 2% bump over the year ago quarter)

The company believes it has the necessary liquidity to effectively conduct business operations for an extended period if current market conditions continue and said its balance sheet is strong and in compliance with debt covenants. 

For 2009, it estimates EPS to be in the range of 1.10 to 1.50 vs the consensus of 1.60. 

“We are encouraged that Otter Tail Corporation’s core electric business, Otter Tail Power Company, posted solid results in 2008. During the year, we aggressively invested in major organic growth opportunities in wind energy projects, such as Otter Tail Power Company’s construction of 32 wind turbines at the Ashtabula Wind Center in North Dakota, and DMI Industries’ expansion of wind tower manufacturing plants in North Dakota and Oklahoma.”

The stock is recovering off the morning lows and up slightly but remains below its 50 day moving average.  I’d expect the stock to retest the November lows around 15 at some point.

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