Investors looking for exposure to the ‘future of energy’ (i.e. carbon-free renewable energy) have scores of names to choose from in the public markets, but one that continues to stand out is Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH). Granted, “Mr. Market” hasn’t exactly been excited about ENPH stock lately.
In fact, with shares dropping by double-digits since January, some may argue that ENPH is falling out of favor. Yet while investors-at-large continue to be on the fence about Enphase, those who have dug a little deeper into the company continue to sing its praises.
Here’s a good example: for the second time in recent weeks, Enphase has garnered praise from the sell-side community. While this alone may not shift sentiment back to bullish, there is an upcoming catalyst that may be able to do so.
With this in mind, now may be time to take a closer look.
ENPH Stock and its Latest Analyst Shout Out
In my last article on Enphase Energy, I mentioned a recent analyst upgrade of the stock. Late last month, Janney Montgomery Scott’s Sean Milligan upgraded ENPH from “neutral” to “buy,” giving shares a $282 price target, citing the disconnect between the stock’s trading price, and the company’s recent strong performance.
But now, the sell-side is once again giving ENPH stock a shout-out. Last week, analysts from Citigroup cited Enphase as one of the top buys in the solar sector.
In particular, Citi’s analyst team cited the company’s many qualities, including how it is “laser focused on customer satisfaction” and on innovation, while demonstrating discipline with capital allocation.
Looking at Enphase’s recent results, it’s clear why the Citi analysts came to this conclusion. Last quarter, reported year-over-year sales growth of 75.6%, and sequential (quarter-over-quarter) sales growth of 14%. These results may show the impact of Enphase’s aforementioned strengths on capturing rising demand for microinverters.
In addition, the company reported increased gross margins and big improvements to profitability, both sequentially and compared to the prior year’s quarter. This also bolsters Citi’s argument about Enphase’s ability to pursue growth without sacrificing profitability.
A Potential Catalyst is Just Around the Corner
Unfortunately, all of this recent analyst praise isn’t having much of an impact on ENPH stock. While ENPH appeared on the verge of a rebound at the start of the month, the latest round of macro-related worries is applying pressure, pushing the stock back towards $200 per share.
However, investors’ concerns that an economic slowdown will put the brakes on Enphase’s short-term growth works to your advantage. A little over a month from now (April 25), the company reports its latest earnings results.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the sell-side has raised its quarterly earnings forecast over the past three months. This could signal that Enphase is gearing up to report another earnings beat. After all, the company has done just that over the four preceding quarters.
Besides the numbers themselves, management’s updates to outlook could also assuage any of the concerns currently held about ENPH by the investing public. I’m not saying this alone will fuel a turbo-charged rally, but it may get this stock back on track, on the path towards an extended recovery.
The Best Move Now
I’m not viewing Enphase as some sort of short-term play to buy now on the pullback and take profits after earnings. The genuine opportunity with ENPH will play out over a much longer time horizon. As I’ve argued in past commentary, this company has massive long-term tailwinds, thanks to rising demand in both the U.S. and Europe.
Stateside, the Inflation Reduction Act, with its expansion/extension of home solar tax credits, will probably result in greater adoption of solar systems and increase the need for products like microinverters.
In Europe, through partnerships with established renewable energy companies, Enphase continues to increase its presence.
With both near-term and long-term catalysts in play, ENPH stock continues to stand out as a top choice among solar stocks.
ENPH stock earns an A rating in Portfolio Grader.
— Louis Navellier and the Investor Place Research StaffTesla Could Be In Trouble? Here's Why [sponsor]
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Source: Investor Place