CNBC Pro

The case for Enphase Energy — a solar company once on the brink of bankruptcy that's now booming

Key Points
  • In January, Enphase Energy joined the S&P 500 — the first pure-play solar company to be added to the benchmark index — after being on the brink of bankruptcy a few years ago.
  • Enphase makes microinverters, often known as the "brains" behind a solar system.
  • The stock gained 570% in 2020 after jumping 452% in 2019.
  • Analysts says Enphase's expansion into new markets should continue to drive growth.
Solaray Director Jonathan Fisk moves a solar panel at the solar power installation company's Sydney facility
Jason Reed | Reuters

In January, Enphase Energy joined the S&P 500 — the first pure-play solar company to be added to the benchmark index. That would be achievement enough for any corporation. But the vote of confidence is even more surprising given that, just a few years ago, Enphase was on the brink of bankruptcy.

Enphase is best known for pioneering a specialized form of inverter — often referred to as the brains of a solar system – known as a microinverter, which converts direct current electricity generated by solar modules to standard AC electricity. Since 2016, as solar power has taken off, the company has staged an epic turnaround. Enphase brought in new management and focused on cutting costs while creating a top-of-the-line product. Following the restructuring, the company has steadily clawed back market share from rival SolarEdge, and the two companies now essentially hold a duopoly on the U.S. residential solar inverter market.

More In Stock Deep Dive

CNBC ProSummer travel is booming. Airline investors are about to hear what happens next
CNBC ProHere are the cloud stocks that do the best job of expanding business with existing clients
CNBC ProUnited is chasing premium travelers with a massive aircraft order. What investors need to know