It's usually not a good sign to see the word “restructuring” in a troubled company's press release.
But that's what microinverter and battery builder Enphase Energy announced yesterday, along with an 11 percent reduction in its 500-employee workforce and an additional offering of common stock underwritten by Oppenheimer & Co. Enphase expects cost savings programs “to result in approximately $20 million of annualized operating expense savings,” according to the release.
Enphase share price dropped 20 percent on the news in after-hours trading.
Enphase maintained its third-quarter revenue guidance to be within a range of $87 million to $93 million. Fourth-quarter guidance was held at within a range of $90 million to $100 million, with gross margin in a range of 16 percent to 20 percent.
Despite helping to forge an industry for module-level power electronics, Enphase has found itself undercut on price by string inverters and SolarEdge's optimizer architecture. Battered by continuing quarterly losses as it fights to maintain market share, Enphase is betting it all on the short-term growth of the energy storage market — and its own ability to develop a next-generation microinverter that's markedly smaller, cheaper and more profitable.
Enphase is also putting a lot of faith in the growth of the Australian energy storage market. CEO Paul Nahi told GTM's Jeff St. John, “We have preorders for 70,000 of our battery and energy management systems in Australia alone.”
According to GTM Research's U.S. PV Leaderboard, module-level power electronics — including microinverters and DC optimizers — have held a steady 55 percent market share so far in 2016.
Scott Moskowitz, GTM Research's PV inverter analyst, notes, “Enphase continues to face a number of financial and market challenges, and today's announcement is the latest step in dealing with the realities of its position. Overall, Enphase continues to maintain a significant share of the U.S. residential inverter market. Though growth has slowed in the U.S. residential market overall, ongoing adoption of the 2014 version of the National Electrical Code will continue to be an opportunity for Enphase. In January 2017, California will adopt this version of the code, which encourages the use of module-level power electronics due to their shutdown capabilities.”
Preliminary numbers from the GTM Research U.S. PV Leaderboard position Enphase with a 24 percent market share of U.S. residential solar in Q2, slightly up from 22 percent in Q1.