Solar stocks have struggled for the better part of the past two years. The Invesco Solar ETF (NYSEARCA:TAN) is down around 35% since topping out in November 2021. However, the fund remains up 187% over the past five years, more than three times the return of the S&P 500. As the industry experiences some growing pains, there are a number of cheap solar stocks that look attractive at the current levels.
According to Allied Market Research, the global solar industry is expected to exceed $300 billion by 2032, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.3%. While the industry will continue to experience ups and downs over the next decade, the long-term trajectory is clear.
Thus, smart investors should consider buying the following affordable solar stocks while they are still on sale.
Altus Power (AMPS)
Altus Power (NYSE:AMPS) is on a mission to “create a clean electrification ecosystem, providing clean energy to every home, business, and electric vehicle.” The solar projects owned and operated by the firm have generated more than 4.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar power. For context, the company says that’s enough to power more than 628,000 homes for a year.
While shares are down 24% over the past year, the company is growing revenue quickly and is delivering positive net income.
For the first quarter, Altus saw revenue jump 53% year over year to $29.4 million. While net income of $3.8 was sharply lower compared to $60.1 million a year ago, mainly due to a non-cash remeasurement of alignment shares, adjusted EBITDA was up 83% year over year to $16 million.
Analysts are overwhelmingly bullish on the stock, with all seven who follow it rating shares a “buy.” Their average price target of $9.93 implies upside of 58% from the current level.
Maxeon Solar Technologies (MAXN)
Maxeon Solar Technologies (NASDAQ:MAXN) was spun off from the better-known solar company SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) in 2020. Maxeon designs, manufactures and sells solar panels in more than 100 countries under the SunPower and Maxeon brands.
The company is growing rapidly and analysts expect it to turn an annual profit for the first time during the current fiscal year. For the company’s fiscal first quarter, which ended April 2, revenue surged 43% year over year to $318.3 million. This growth resulted in Maxeon’s first quarterly profit of $20.42 million, or 46 cents per share.
While shares are up nearly 40% so far this year, they still look cheap based on analysts’ projected price targets. Five of the seven analysts who cover the stock rate it a “buy,” with an average price target of $38.57. That’s 72% above the current price.
As the largest residential solar installer in the United States, Sunrun’s (NASDAQ:RUN) scale is what makes it attractive from an investment perspective. However, shares are down 28% this year, as revenue generation has proven expensive.
For the first quarter, the company generated $589.8 million in revenue, up 19% year over year. However, the cost of that revenue was $556.9 million, and Sunrun reported a loss of $240.4 million.
Yet, in its just-reported second-quarter results, Sunrun delivered a surprise profit. While revenue was up just 1% from a year ago, the company reported earnings of 25 cents per share compared to the 24-cent loss analysts expected. During the quarter, Sunrun added 39,755 new customers, including 32,389 subscribers. Further, its net subscriber value increased by $321 from the first quarter to $12,321.
Following the Q2 earnings report, investment firm Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded RUN stock to “buy,” setting a price of $32. That implies shares could rise 67%.
Chinese firm JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS) is one of the largest manufacturers of solar modules in the world. While shares are down 39% over the past year, the company holds a lot of promise for investors, in part because of where it is located.
As Reuters reports, China is the world’s largest solar products maker and solar power generator. According to China Photovoltaic Industry Association, the country’s solar power generation is set to increase by as much as 30% this year, setting a new record.
For the first quarter, JinkoSolar’s shipments increased by 72.7% year over year to 14,490 megawatts. Revenue surged 58% during the same period, reaching $3.4 billion, and the company posted $114.8 million in net income.
Management noted that lower prices for photovoltaic cells and polysilicon should continue to drive demand by making projects more economically attractive.
Array Technologies (ARRY)
Array Technologies (NASDAQ:ARRY) produces solar trackers used to optimize the positioning of solar arrays. While shares are down about 7% year to date, the stock offers a good picks-and-shovels play that should correlate nicely with the overall growth of the industry.
Array Technologies reported strong first-quarter results. Revenue increased 25% year over year to $376.8 million. What’s more, the company delivered a huge earnings beat, reporting EPS of 25 cents compared with the 3 cents analysts were expecting and a 2-cent loss one year ago.
Profitability is expected to continue to improve with analysts calling for double-digit revenue growth this year and next.
Of the 21 analysts who follow the stock, 18 rate it a “buy” or “overweight,” with three “holds” and no “sell” ratings. Their average price target of $28.21 is 57% above the current share price.
Enphase Energy (ENPH)
Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH) manufactures solar micro-inverters, as well as battery energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Shares are down 47% on a year-to-date basis, including a 19% drop since the company reported second-quarter results on July 27.
While earnings once again beat the consensus estimate, U.S. sales declined 12% year over year. But this was offset by a 25% increase in European sales, and overall revenue increased 34% year over year despite being down 2% on a sequential basis.
The post-earnings sell-off was an overreaction and presents an opportunity for investors to buy shares at a discount. However, that discount may not last for long. The average analyst target price of $204.26 is more than 45% above the current share price.
SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG)
Speaking of market overreactions leading to opportunities in solar stocks for smart investors, SolarEdge Technologies (NASDAQ:SEDG) just saw the biggest drop in its stock in almost a year following the release of the company’s Q2 results. Shares of the maker of inverters that transform photovoltaic energy into electricity are down more than 20% in the past two trading days, bringing their year-to-date decline to 33%.
As with Enphase, U.S. solar revenue declined while European revenue rose, but the company managed to beat earnings estimates. It earned an adjusted $2.62 per share versus an expected $2.52 per share. However, investors took issue with the company’s third-quarter revenue guidance, which came in below expectations as management said it’s seeing lower demand due to falling electricity prices.
While the solar market is clearly experiencing some growing pains, it will continue to expand, and so will top players like SolarEdge. Use this pullback as an opportunity to buy the dip. If shares hit analysts’ average target price of $321.30, those who get in now could see a return of almost 70%, making the current price look very cheap indeed.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.