While the focus on clean technology and the solar sector is now somewhat less of a priority with the Trump administration in place, the bottom line is the sector has grown for years, regardless of who is in the White House, and there is every reason to believe that growth will continue as costs have dropped dramatically over the years.
In a new research report, Deutsche Bank analysts feel that while solar demand growth may moderate some, they still believe it will continue the upward trend and noted this in their report:
We are raising our 2017 global demand estimate from 74 GigaWatts to 82GW, mainly due to expectations of stronger growth in China (from 17GW to 25GW). Beyond 2017, we expect overall growth in China to slow down and expect other emerging markets as well as the U.S. to be the primary growth drivers.
Deutsche Bank especially likes three top companies into earnings and all are rated Buy.
Deutsche Bank thinks this top company is gaining market share. Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ: RUN) finances, installs and services solar power arrays on customer premises. The company acquires customers directly as well as through a partnership model. The majority of the company’s solar installations are leased from Sunrun by its customers, with a smaller portion of the business comprised of systems sold to customers outright.
The analysts noted in the report:
We also expect the company to report strong momentum in BrightBox shipments and believe with the National Grid partnership as well as potential debt raise, the company has adequate financing in place to deliver on 2017 guidance.
The Deutsche Bank price target is for the stock is $12, and the Wall Street consensus target is $9.85. The shares closed Monday at $5.12. Earnings are expected the week of May 8.
This stock has had a strong run since fourth-quarter numbers were reported in February. Solaredge Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG) designs, develops and sells direct current (DC) optimized inverter systems for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in Israel, Europe, the United States and elsewhere. The company’s DC optimized inverter systems include power optimizers, inverters and cloud-based monitoring software. Its products are used in a range of solar market segments, including residential, commercial and small utility-scale solar installations.
The company sells its products directly to solar installers, as well as engineering, procurement and construction firms. It sells indirectly to solar installers through distributors and electrical equipment wholesalers, as well as PV module manufacturers.
Despite the nice run in the shares, the analysts feel that there is room for multiple expansion and also see positive estimate revisions as a catalyst to move the stock higher. The report said this:
Higher margin HD wave products (3%-5%) mix can grow from 20-25% to over 60% by the end of 2017.Meanwhile, cost reduction across all products could exceed expectations and drive margin expansion (even if average selling prices were to decline by ~20% this year) towards company’s long term gross margin target of 32-37%.
Deutsche Bank has a $20 price target, and the consensus target is $16.42. The shares closed Monday at $15.85. The earnings report is expected the week of May 8.
This stock has also had a big run, but the analysts at Deutsche Bank still feel there is more upside potential. Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) provides process equipment for the data storage, semiconductor, HB-LED/wireless and scientific research markets.
Veeco’s products enable advancements in the fields of nano-technology and other areas of scientific and industrial research. In the process equipment segment, it markets PVD, ALD, MOCVD and MBE deposition tools.
The analysts noted this in the report:
We view the Ultratech deal as incrementally positive, especially post the company’s latest earnings beat where the company reported net sales of $57 million and adjusted earnings-per-share growth of 250%. The first quarter announcement about commitments from two leading North American semi manufacturers further demonstrate company’s strong growth capability.
The Deutsche Bank price objective is $32. The consensus is higher at $32.80. Shares closed near those levels on Monday at $31.55. The company is expected to report on May 4.
Three top companies to buy before earnings are released in May. Given the nature of the industry, these stocks are better suited for aggressive growth accounts that can tolerate big fluctuations in shares prices.