Whenever a sector is home to top-performing stocks, there are always opportunities with companies operating in sectors associated with the big names in the industry. Array Technologies (NASDAQ: ARRY) makes the ground mounting systems used in solar power installations.
Sure, solar companies love big hood Enphase (NASDAQ: ENPH) and mid cap First Solar Power (NASDAQ: FSLR) get more attention than Array, which has a market cap of just $2.4 billion.
Within the solar subsector, these are the only two US-listed companies currently outperforming Array, and only by small margins.
Array has posted a 30.96% gain in the past three months, far outpacing the most appropriate benchmark, the S&P 600 small cap index, followed by ETFs such as the SPDR Portfolio S&P 600 Small Cap ETF (NYSEARCA: SPSM).
That index has fallen by 20.95% so far. By contrast, Array is up 2.17% in 2022. That’s not much to cheer about, but the not-so-distant future for Array could potentially bring more profits, if analysts are right and if tax incentives deliver the expected blow.
Array qualifies as a new publicly traded company, which made its debut in the public markets exactly two years ago, in October 2020. That’s an encouraging sign, as companies often see some of their biggest price gains in the first few years after going public.
Like other companies in the solar industry, Array is well positioned to get a boost in sales thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes incentives for adding solar panels to businesses and homes.
Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Array doesn’t make panels, but instead focuses on mechanical equipment that helps maximize the panels’ performance.
Gear helps panels generate more power
Array is one of the largest manufacturers of equipment called trackers that align solar panels to capture the best angle to the sun. This modification allows the panels to generate as much as 25% more power than more conventional mounting equipment.
According to the company’s IPO filing, trackers also deliver 22% lower leveled energy costs than “fixed tilt” mounting systems. Trackers cost less than ground-mounted solar projects. The company also said that approximately “70% of all ground-mounted solar projects built in the US in 2019 used trackers,” sources said.
Other publicly traded companies that make trackers include two small companies, Beam Global (NASDAQ: BEEM), with a market cap of just $121 million and FTC Solar Power (NASDAQ: FTCI), who checks in at $205 million.
Neither company is profitable, although FTC is expected to post net income of $0.26 a share next year, and Beam has shown rapid revenue growth in recent quarters.
Analysts see earnings growth in 2022
Array has been profitable since 2019, but has an uneven history of earnings growth. Earnings fell sharply in 2021, but Wall Street sees that trend reverse this year and expects $0.31 per share for the full year, up 31%. In 2023, analysts see earnings rise another 206%, to $0.95 per share.
According to MarketBeat’s earnings data for Array, the company has an uneven history when it comes to meeting or missing net income and revenue. However, in the past two quarters, it beat both top and bottom line views.
While a company’s earnings history matters and may have some predictive value, the new tax incentives as part of the recently passed climate law could be a game changer for Array and other solar companies.
Against that purpose, analysts have a “moderate buy” rating on the stock and a price target of $22.38, a potential upside of 39.64%.
Array’s chart shows a correction that started in August when the stock pulled back from a high of $24. Shares closed at $16.03 Tuesday, up $0.89 or 5.88%. But a gap-up in late July, followed by another on August 10, still drives that three-month gain.
When the company reports its third quarter after the bell on Nov. 8, Wall Street expects earnings of $0.10 a share on revenue of $397.18 million. Both would represent significant year-over-year increases.