Wednesday, August 7, SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) reported second quarter revenue of $325 million, up 43% from the second quarter of 2018 and ahead of analyst projections of $315.5 million in revenue. Adjusted earnings rose 15% year over year to 94 cents a share, well above Wall Street estimates of 73 cents a share.
The company told analysts to look for third quarter revenue of $395 million to $410 million. Analysts forecasts had been for $324 million for the third quarter.
Not exactly surprising that shares of SolarEdge were up 23.9% Wednesday to an all-time high. (The shares gained another 0.65% Thursday.)
If you were waiting for proof that the shortage of components for the company’s inverters that had held back sales in 2018 was over, I think you just got it. (Shares of SolarEdge dropped from $66.45 on May 14, 2018 to $34.46 on December 17, 2018. They closed at$80.82 on August 8.)
And Israel-based SolarEdge may be one of the few companies that stands to benefit from the U.S.-China trade war. Certainly the shortage of components in 2018 hit the stock hard but so too did expectations that China’s technology giant Huawei Technology was about to enter the U.S. market for inverters used in solar panels. Inverters are used to turn the direct-current produced by solar panels into alternating current that can be used to power a house or sent to a local utility grid. Right now SolarEdge and Enphase (ENPH) have an 89% combined share of the total U.S. market for solar module inverters. SolarEdge and Enphase make smart inverters that use software to increase the efficiency of the DC/AC conversion.
But although Huawei’s inverters aren’t nearly as smart, that company has the financial backing of the Chinese government and the worry was that Huawei would be able to offer lower prices that would offset its competitors’ technology advantage. (Inverters make up about $1,500 of the price of a typical $15,000 solar panel system.)
But now that Huawei has wound up on the Trump administration’s list of Chinese companies that need special permission from Washington to buy U.S. technology components, the Chinese company cancelled its plans to enter the U.S. market.
SolarEdge shares are up 130.26% year to date as of the August 8 close. That’s substantially ahead of the 84.08% gain for the year to date of Morningstar’s benchmark solar sector index.
Shares of SolarEdge are up 52.20% since I added them to my Jubak Picks Portfolio on April 16, 2018.
As of August 8, I’m raising the target price on SolarEdge to $92 a share from the prior $67 target on the company’s improved guidance for the September quarter. Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association project that photovoltaic capacity installations in the United States will increase by 14% in 2019 after a two-year slowdown.