The top energy stocks for high returns are undoubtedly clean and renewable names. Most fossil fuel companies have topped out in terms of growth potential and are now generating cash and paying dividends to shareholders. Except for a few under-the-radar bets, companies involved in oil, natural gas or coal are unlikely to deliver life-changing gains.
On the other hand, even well-established renewable energy companies are far from peaking. Most countries have a long way to go in transitioning towards clean energy, and there is tremendous growth potential to tap into. Plus, governments worldwide are well-invested in clean energy with generous subsidies and tax cuts. This will eventually translate into renewable energy sources beating their fossil fuel counterparts in both cost and reliability.
Thus, let’s look at the following three top energy stocks for high returns:
Enphase Energy (ENPH)
Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH) is an energy company specializing in solar micro-inverters, battery energy storage, and electric vehicle charging stations. The stock has traded sideways for the past month, but it is now starting to rally from the trough, up 5.4% on Wednesday’s close.
ENPH currently provides one of the most compelling buying opportunities among top energy stocks for high returns. The company’s financials are green across the board, with tremendous future growth potential. Sales grew 64.5% year-over-year to $726 million in Q1, with guidance for $725 million in Q2 at midpoint. Analysts expect this figure to accelerate in the latter quarters of the year and end 2023 with $3.06 billion in total sales.
The average analyst rating suggests ~50% upside potential here by next year. But once headwinds clear, I see it reaching $500 or more in the coming years, close to what the stock analyst Gurufocus considers as “fair value.”
Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) is another contender for top energy stocks for high returns. The value here is very compelling as it has already tumbled over 81.4% from its peak, and most of its cons have already been priced in. Indeed, the market sentiment has likely reversed, with RUN stock rallying 22% from its trough to its last close. The price-to-book (P/B) ratio here is 0.6 times, better than 95.5% of its peers.
Revenue grew by 19% YOY in the first quarter and will likely slow down this year. Analysts expect it to end in 2023 with 8.5% in YOY top-line growth. But it is important to remember that there is substantial long-term growth headroom here. Solar only accounts for 3.4% of U.S. energy generation, and there’s much more growth to come here by the time we achieve climate targets. Again, that’s just the U.S.; developing countries will follow suit in the coming decades and boost these energy companies even more.
Regardless, the average price target implies an 86.6% upside potential, even when considering a one-year timeframe.
“The company is well positioned to capitalize on industry and regulatory tailwinds given their premium asset light business-to-business model, and strong North American market share. The thesis is based on an inflection to cash flow breakeven reducing the reliance on expensive capital markets as the company builds out its network.”
I will expand on the kind of industry tailwinds they are speaking of. First, the expansion of electric vehicles in the U.S. will require massive amounts of charging infrastructure. Less than 1% of U.S. vehicles are electric (~2 million total), and by 2025, there could be as many as 7.8 million of them on the road. As S&P Global states:
“To support that vehicle population, we expect there will need to be about 700,000 Level 2 and 70,000 Level 3 chargers deployed, including both public and restricted-use facilities. By 2027, we expect there will be a need for about 1.2 million Level 2 chargers and 109,000 Level 3 chargers deployed nationally. Looking further to 2030, with the assumption of 28.3 million units EVs on US roads, an estimated total of 2.13 million Level 2 and 172,000 Level 3 public chargers will be required – all in addition to the units that consumers put in their own garages.”
With that in mind, it’s easy to see the sort of growth we may see if CHPT continues to retain its current market share in this sector.
On the date of publication, Omor Ibne Ehsan 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.