Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH) is a winner in the trends toward solar, but it is often overlooked because the company makes microinverter systems, rather than panels, for the solar photovoltaic industry. 24/7 Wall St. recently featured Enphase among seven speculative alternative energy stock picks with major upside potential.
The company’s microinverters and related accessories convert direct current power to grid-compliant alternating current power. In short, the company takes the power generation from panels into use for the grid or other destinations.
Enphase has not quite moved into profitability, and it has accumulated losses of $159 million on the books. Sales of $66 million in 2010 grew to $216 million in 2012 and $232 million in 2013, and they are expected to be almost $350 million in 2015. While some profitable quarters may be seen in 2014, 2015 is the year that Enphase is expected to break out into profits.
Thomson Reuters is calling for earnings of $0.30 per share in 2015. The past came with some stuttering growth, which was what wrecked the stock in 2012. Still, its stock price has recovered and has spent most of the past year in a trading range between $6 and $9.
The base case for the company is that solar installations continue rising. Its slowing of revenues from the 2012 to 2013 crimped the stock, and it ruined some of the expectations ahead. What investors now have to consider is that annual revenues may continue to experience choppiness. Of course that comes with risk, but the upside case is one where the company normalizes its orders and backlog.
Only a few analysts who follow Enphase, with its consensus price target above $9 and a top-bull call of $11. Had that 2012 to 2013 slowdown not wrecked the stock by so much, there likely would be a much more bullish sentiment around the long-term opportunities of the company.
Enphase sells mostly to distributors, original equipment manufacturers and installers. On top of its U.S. presence and headquarters in Petaluma, Calif., Enphase has a presence in Australia, China, Canada, France, United Kingdom and Italy.
At $8.55, Enphase shares have a $4.54 to $9.37 trading range over the past 52-weeks. The company’s market cap is close to $365 million now.
The base case could leave moderate to strong upside, but the upside case for Enphase could potentially make this a $1 billion company, if it can shake off its shadows.