Solar electronics leaders Enphase and SolarEdge post strong Q4 and massive 2019

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Solar module-electronics leaders and energy storage market aspirants SolarEdge and Enphase have taken different paths to get to 2020, but both can claim that 2019 was the best financial year of their long-storied pasts. Both firms announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 results this week.

SolarEdge’s most recent financial statement comes with a number of “record” financial results. Enphase can claim “the first full year of GAAP profitability” in its history.

A quick look at their 2019 and 2018 numbers shows massive top line growth with gains in net income while holding margins steady. SolarEdge had more than 50% growth in revenue (from an already big number), while Enphase doubled its year-on-year revenue — and went from loss to profit.

According to the WoodMackenzie U.S. leaderboard, SolarEdge and Enphase own the U.S. residential solar inverter market with a combined 80 percent market share.

Residential solar is one of the bright spots in the U.S. solar market. The U.S. residential solar market hit record highs in the third quarter of 2019 with 712 megawatts of solar installed, according to the Solar Market Insight report from SEIA. California added almost 300 MW of residential PV in Q3.

California’s new residential solar mandate, effective from the first day of 2020, is going to add more than 1 GW of PV over the next five years, according to analysts.

Q1 2020 guidance

Enphase guided Q1 revenue to be within a range of $200 million to $210 million, including $44.5 million of revenue for ITC safe harbor shipments with gross margin to be within a range of 36% to 39%.

SolarEdge expects Q1 revenue to be within the range of $425 million to $440 million with a gross margin in the range of 32% to 34%.

Enphase and SolarEdge have been long-threatening to introduce energy storage and non-solar products, but these new product lines are not making that large a revenue impact, yet.

A solar installer told pv magazine, “Enphase, SolarEdge, Pika/Generac…all bringing new storage [to market] and they’ll all go through a painful burn-in period. They all have their work cut out for them. I see the expanding storage space likely to be just as brutal, if not more so, than solar module manufacturing and sales.”