It seems with the populist uprising sweeping the globe, and with social media, aka Internet 2.0, giving more and more people instantaneous solidarity, it is getting much harder for leaders of all sorts to hide behind the curtain; their actions have digital trails with repercussions. The mainstream media is dead, and alternative outlets like Drudge, Infowars, Free Domain Radio, ZeroHedge, Breitbart and others are awakening people to the real news and truth which they are desperately longing for.
In 1996, Steve Jobs sold NeXT Computer to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for $400M; he returned to Apple as a "technical liaison" for then-CEO Gil Emelio and V.P. Barbara Hancock. Then, in 1997, a peaceful coup occurred, giving him back the reigns of a company he had created decades earlier. Jobs took on the title of "interim CEO" and symbolically accepted a $1 per year salary - this generous token immediately inspired the geeks, the troops, and the young employees at Apple, for it gained their respect; of course, Jobs knew with Apple tanking that if he could make the company great again, he would earn much more in stock compensation than he would ever have had through the rigid salary channels, anyway. And Jobs did just that - Apple rose from the edge of oblivion, and the rest is history.
More recently, this past August when SolarCity was sinking further into the abyss, Lyndon and Peter Rive of SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), Elon Musk's cousins (NASDAQ:TSLA), announced the reduction of their annual compensation down to $1 - and with over $3B in company debt, did anyone really question why they would have made such a noble gesture? Surely it was a symbolic move, but in order to avoid the proverbial "pitchforks and shovels" from the "unspecified number" of pink-slipped, sacrificial employees, and irate shareholders, it was probably necessary - in addition to re-inspiring the troops left standing after the carnage occurred. Maybe when Lyndon and Peter make SolarCity great again, they can resume great salaries again, too!
Take for instance our president-elect Donald Trump who has just stated he will only take a $1 salary as POTUS with no vacations - a very noble gesture, and a fair one - if Trump can Make America Great Again and repair what the globalist, leftist agenda has decimated, then he will benefit much more than the measly $400,000 annual salary for a POTUS.
So, if Elon Musk's cousins' feet are being held to the proverbial fire, and even heroes like "the Donald" are making sacrifices, then why can't other companies follow suit? It is the "trump" card colloquially speaking, and it is inspirational to the working-class people who really make it happen, and allow all those V.I.P.'s to bask in the glorious Sun.
From as far back as April, 2015, when JPMorgan announced that Enphase was a "Buy", with the stock tanking days later, and up until now, the shareholders have continued to stand by Enphase for one reason and one reason only - they believe in Enphase's products, and they know that Enphase's products represent serious quality and value.
In November, 2015, Enphase announced a 7% company reduction and the CEO promised "the difficult actions we are taking now will result in a company better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require". Then, on September 22, 2016, barely a month after Enphase's August Q2-2016 conference call, Enphase announced another 11% company reduction. And if you recall, during that Q2-2016 conference call, both the CEO and the CFO assured shareholders that a $25M loan undertaken 1-month prior would be all that was necessary for the company to become free cashflow positive. If you follow these events, then clearly your assessment of the management is suspect, to say the least.
So, let's put our rose-colored glasses on and talk about the positive things that keep us believing in Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH); the company has (1) their nascent AC Battery storage revenue which will hit the books this quarter, and according to Enphase Chief Strategist, Philip Farese, the company has over 50% of the storage market in Australia alone, (2) their ever-improving, cost-reduced, superior line of microinverter products with the release of their latest generation IQ6/6+ models in Q1-2017 making for a seriously competitive product, and allowing Enphase to regain leadership in the MLPE market, (3) their intelligent Envoy-S Metered product which could be attractive to the utilities and other smart-grid-solution companies offering yet another revenue stream, (4) their AC module product with unique, patented design - probably the most elegant and Apple-like design ever of an AC module product - and its no wonder that Jinko Solar (NYSE:JKS), SolarWorld (OTCPK:SRWRF) and LG are all preparing to market this product sometime in mid-2017.
You have all these wonderful things. Most recently, you have announcements of a major partnership with Generac (backup) and Spruce (financial) giving Enphase Energy (solar, storage, intelligence) a powerful synergy. (NYSE:GNRC) And then you also have all the company patents making Enphase a seriously valuable acquisition for any big fish out there in the solar nebula.
So, what would be the icing on the cake here to help make Enphase great again? If the CEO truly wants to energize his solar energy company, then he should inspire the young people of his company - along with the rest of his employees and shareholders who are the blood and guts of his organization; he should make that symbolic gesture and declare a $1 salary until share price improves, and really sow the seeds of inspiration within his company.
Disclosure: I am/we are long "ENPH".
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
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