Apple Self-Driving EV Said To Be Years Away

Lee also downgraded Canadian Solar (CSIQ) to Neutral from Buy with a price target of $48, up from $43. While the analyst remains constructive on the broader outlook for the solar space, he sees limited upside in the near-term for Canadian Solar shares given the stock's recent rally, limited catalysts in the early part of 2021 and a gross margin recovery that could take well into the second half of 2021. As a result, Lee views earnings upside potential as limited "for the time being."

On the flip side, the analyst upgraded Enphase Energy (ENPH) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $232, up from $127. Lee believes Enphase remains a "relatively early- secular growth story" within solar that merits "strong consideration as a core holding." The company offers "multi-year, multi-faceted growth potential" due to market share gains, new product growth from batteries, international expansion and new end market growth from commercial, the analyst contended. Lee's "blue sky scenario" indicates as much as $7 of earnings per share power by the middle part of this decade and an implied valuation range of $264-$342 per share.

Meanwhile, Enphase Energy announced the expansion of the company's long-term relationship with Sunnova Energy International (NOVA) to include Enphase Encharge storage systems. As a power service provider, Sunnova will empower its network of solar dealers in the U.S. to provide a simple upgrade path for existing Enphase homeowners as well as homeowners who are new to solar and storage.

VALUATION STRETCHED

Susquehanna analyst Biju Perincheril downgraded SolarEdge (SEDG) to Neutral from Positive with a price target of $340, up from $310. The analyst believes the outlook for the solar sector remains robust but sees most of the external catalysts for the sector already being priced in or have already come to fruition.

Johnson Rice analyst Martin Malloy also downgraded SolarEdge to Hold from Accumulate with a $315 price target. Shares have risen 128% since May 2019 and he is concerned about the timing of a rebound in the C&I market, which he noted accounted for 21% of the company's 2019 revenues. Malloy expects weak C&I markets and European seasonality to impact the company's fourth quarter results.

BUY LUMINAR, VELODYNE

Citi analyst Itay Michaeli initiated coverage of Luminar Technologies (LAZR) with a Buy rating and $40 price target. Luminar appears to be one of few LiDAR companies that are well positioned to lead in consumer and commercial autonomous vehicle LIDARs, Michaeli told investors in a research note. The analyst sees a favorable risk/reward at current share levels.

Michaeli also started coverage of Velodyne Lidar (VLDR) with a Buy rating and $31 price target. Velodyne's "early mover advantage" makes it the most established LiDAR company to date, he contended. The analyst likes the company's "diverse revenue sources" across auto and non-auto and sees new business momentum. Further, he finds the stock's risk/reward as favorable at current levels.

VELODYNE WARNS, PULLS GUIDANCE

On Thursday night, Velodyne Lidar announced preliminary fourth quarter 2020 revenue and provided an update on recent business trends and outlook. Largely as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions, management now estimates fourth quarter revenue in a range of $15.5M to $16M and full-year 2020 revenue of approximately $94M versus $101M as previously provided as guidance for the full year. "Without these unexpected end-of-year disruptions, Velodyne believes it would have met prior revenue guidance for 2020," the company stated. Velodyne also said: "Given the uncertainty around COVID-19 worldwide and its downstream impacts, and customer implementation timelines that are outside the company's control, the company has less visibility on the timing of expected purchase orders and other projects in the pipeline. Velodyne is monitoring the situation daily to understand COVID-19's impact on signed and awarded business, and other developments in customer plans affecting the new business funnel, bookings, the company's manufacturing capacity, and ultimately, revenue. With this reduced visibility and out of an abundance of caution, the company withdraws any previous financial guidance for 2021 at this time."

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