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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
    
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to             
Commission File Number: 001-35480
https://cdn.kscope.io/643c5dad57375a321eacd2534c9282c9-enph-20201231_g1.jpg
Enphase Energy, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
20-4645388
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
47281 Bayside Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)

(877) 774-7000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class:
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.00001 par value per shareENPH
Nasdaq Global Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes   No 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes   No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes   No 


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Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes x  No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by checkmark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes   No 
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on June 30, 2020, based upon the closing price of $47.57 of the registrant’s common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Market, was approximately $4.0 billion.
As of February 8, 2021, there were 129,021,311 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.



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Enphase Energy, Inc.
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Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains “forward-looking statements” as defined under securities laws. Forward-looking statements include statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by terms such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts, “projects,” “should,” “will,” “would” or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. These forward-looking statements are contained principally in Item 1, Business; Item 1A, Risk Factors; Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations; and other sections of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our actual results or experience could differ significantly from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include those discussed in Item 1A, Risk Factors, as well as those discussed elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain, and you should not place undue reliance on these statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered in connection with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to these forward-looking statements after completion of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to reflect later events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
In this report, unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, “Enphase Energy,” “Enphase,” “the Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to Enphase Energy, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its subsidiaries.
Enphase Energy, Inc. | 2020 Form 10-K | 4

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Risk Factors Summary
Below is a summary of material factors that make an investment in our securities speculative or risky. Importantly, this summary does not address all of the risks and uncertainties that we face. Additional discussion of the risks and uncertainties summarized in this risk factor summary, as well as other risks and uncertainties that we face, can be found under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. The below summary is qualified in its entirety by that more complete discussion of such risks and uncertainties. You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K as part of your evaluation of an investment in our securities:
If demand for solar energy solutions does not grow or grows at a slower rate than we anticipate, including as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our business will suffer.
The rapidly changing solar industry makes it difficult to evaluate our current business and future prospects.
Our business is currently being adversely affected and could be materially and adversely affected in the future by the evolving effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic may continue to, and other actual or threatened epidemics, pandemics, outbreaks, or public health crises may in the future adversely affect our customers’ financial condition and our business.
We depend upon a small number of outside contract manufacturers, and our business and operations could be disrupted if we encounter manufacturing problems with these contract manufacturers.
We depend on sole-source and limited source suppliers for key components and products. If we are unable to source these components on a timely basis, we will not be able to deliver our products to our customers.
If we or our contract manufacturers are unable to obtain raw materials in a timely manner or if the price of raw materials increases significantly, production time and product costs could increase, which may adversely affect our gross margin and our business.
Manufacturing problems could result in delays in product shipments to customers which would adversely affect our revenue competitive position and reputation.
We rely primarily on distributors, installers, and providers of solar financing to assist in selling our products to consumers, and the failure of these resellers to perform at the expected level, or at all, would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The loss of, or events affecting, one of our major customers could reduce our sales and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
U.S. government actions with regard to the solar energy sector or international trade could materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The solar industry is highly competitive, and we expect to face increased competition as new and existing competitors introduce products, which could negatively impact our business, financial condition and result of operations.
Our recent and planned expansion into existing and new markets could subject us to additional business, financial and competitive risks.
Our significant international operations subject us to additional risks that could adversely affect our business.
We may fail to capture customers in the new product and geographic markets that we are pursuing, which would prevent us from increasing our revenue and market share.
Our microinverter systems, including our storage solution, integrated AC Module, eighth-generation IQ microinverters and Ensemble technology, may not achieve broader market acceptance, which would prevent us from increasing our revenue and market share.
The reduction, elimination or expiration of government subsidies and economic incentives for on-grid solar electricity applications could reduce demand for solar PV systems and harm our business.
Our gross profit may fluctuate over time, which could impair our ability to achieve or maintain profitability.
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We are under continuous pressure to reduce the prices of our products, which has adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect, our gross margins.
Defects and poor performance in our products could result in loss of customers, decreased revenue and unexpected expenses, and increases in warranty, indemnity and product liability claims arising from defective products.
As part of growing our business, we have made and expect to continue to make acquisitions. If we fail to successfully select, execute or integrate our acquisitions, then our business and operating results could be harmed and our stock price could decline.
We invest in companies for both strategic and financial reasons but may not realize a return on our investments.
Our business has been and could continue to be affected by seasonal trends and construction cycles.
If we fail to retain our key personnel or if we fail to attract additional qualified personnel, we may not be able to achieve our anticipated level of growth and our business could suffer.
We could be subject to breaches of our information technology systems, which could cause significant reputational, legal and financial damages. Any unauthorized access to, or disclosure or theft of personal information we gather, store or use could harm our reputation and subject us to claims or litigation.
If we fail to protect, or incur significant costs in defending, our intellectual property and other proprietary rights, our business and results of operations could be materially harmed.
From time to time we are involved in a number of legal proceedings and, while we cannot predict the outcomes of such proceedings and other contingencies with certainty, some of these outcomes could adversely affect our business and financial condition.
Conversion of our Convertible Notes may dilute the ownership interest of existing stockholders or may otherwise depress the price of our common stock. The convertible note hedge and warrant transactions and/or their early termination may affect the value of our common stock.
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PART I
Item 1.    Business
Our Company
We are a global energy technology company. We deliver smart, easy-to-use solutions that manage solar generation, storage and communication on one single platform. We revolutionized the solar industry with our microinverter technology and we produce a fully integrated solar-plus-storage solution. To date, we have shipped more than 32 million microinverters, and approximately 1.4 million Enphase residential and commercial systems have been deployed in more than 130 countries.
COVID-19 update
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19”) continues to cause disruptions and uncertainties, including in the core markets in which we operate. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly curtailed the movement of people, goods and services and had a notable impact on general economic conditions including but not limited to the temporary closures of many businesses, “shelter in place” orders and other governmental regulations, and reduced consumer spending. The most significant near-term impacts of COVID-19 on our financial performance are a decline in sales orders as future residential and commercial system owners are canceling sales meetings with system installation professionals or postponing system installations. As the purchase of new solar energy management solutions declines as part of the impact of COVID-19 on consumer spending, many businesses through which we distribute our products are working at limited operational capacity. The extent of the impact of COVID-19 on our future operational and financial performance will depend on various future developments, including the duration and spread of the outbreak, duration of employees working remotely, impact on our customers, effect on our sales cycles or costs, and effect on our supply chain and vendors, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted, but which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. Further information relating to the risks and uncertainties related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may be found in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Industry Background
Historically, traditional central inverters were the only inverter technology used for solar photovoltaic (“PV”) installations. In an installation consisting of a traditional central inverter, the solar PV modules are connected in series strings. In a large installation, there are multiple series strings connected in parallel. The aggregated voltage from each of these strings is then fed into a large central inverter. We believe that traditional central inverters have a number of design and performance challenges limiting innovation and their ability to reduce the cost of solar power systems, including the following:
Productivity limits. If solar modules are wired using a traditional central inverter—group or “string” of modules are wired in series, and an entire string’s output is limited by the output of the lowest-performing module. Because of its string design, there is a single point of failure risk with the traditional central inverter approach.
Reliability issues. Traditional central inverters are the single most common component of solar installations to fail, resulting in system downtime and adversely impacting total energy output. As a result, central inverters typically carry warranties of only 5 to 10 years.
Complex design and installation requirements. The central inverter-based solar PV installation requires greater effort on the part of the installer, both in terms of design and on-site labor. Central inverter installations require string design and calculations for safe and reliable operation, as well as specialized equipment such as DC combiners, conduits and disconnects. In addition, the use of high-voltage direct current (“DC”) requires specialized knowledge and training and safety precautions to install central inverter technology.
Lack of monitoring. The majority of solar installations with central inverter technology offer limited monitoring capabilities. If a module in a central inverter system fails or is not performing to specification, the resulting loss of energy can go unnoticed for an extended period of time.
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Safety issues. Central inverter solar PV installations have a wide distribution of high-voltage (600 volts to 1,000 volts) DC wiring. If damaged, DC wires can generate sustained electrical arcs, reaching temperatures of more than 5,000 °F. This creates the risk of fire for solar PV installation owners and injury for installers and maintenance personnel.
These challenges of traditional central inverters have a direct impact on the cost and expected return on investment of solar installations to both installers and system owners:
Installer. Solar PV installers aim for simple installation design, fast installation times and maximum system performance and predictability. The installation of high-voltage DC central inverter technology, however, requires significant preparation, precautionary safety measures, time-consuming string calculations, extensive design expertise and specialized installation equipment, training and knowledge. Together, these factors significantly increase complexity and cost of installation and limit overall productivity for the installer.
System owner. Solar power system owners aim for high energy production, low cost, high reliability, and low maintenance requirements, as well as reduced fire risks. With traditional central inverters, owners often are unable to optimize the size or shape of their solar PV installations due to string design limitations. As such, they experience performance loss from shading and other obstructions, can face frequent system failures and lack the ability to effectively monitor the performance of their solar PV installation. In addition, central inverter installations operate at high-voltage DC which bears significant fire risks. Further, due to their large size, central inverter installations can affect architectural aesthetics of the house or commercial building.
The solar industry is transitioning from solar only systems to complete energy management solutions, which consist of solar-plus storage and load control.
Our Products
We design, develop, manufacture and sell home energy solutions that manage energy generation, energy storage and control and communications on one intelligent platform. We have revolutionized the solar industry by bringing a systems approach to solar technology and by pioneering a semiconductor-based microinverter that converts energy at the individual solar module level and, combined with our proprietary networking and software technologies, provides advanced energy monitoring and control. This is vastly different than a central inverter system using string modules, with or without an optimizer, approach that only converts energy of the entire array of solar modules from a single high voltage electrical unit and lacks intelligence about the energy producing capacity of the solar array. The Enphase Home Energy Solution with IQ™ platform, which is our current generation integrated solar, storage and energy management offering, enables self-consumption and delivers our core value proposition of yielding more energy, simplifying design and installation, and improving system uptime and reliability. The IQ family of microinverters, like all of our previous microinverters, is fully compliant with NEC 2014 and 2017 rapid shutdown requirements. Unlike string inverters, this capability is built-in, with no additional equipment necessary.
The Enphase Home Energy Solution with IQ™ brings a high technology, networked approach to solar generation plus energy storage, by leveraging our design expertise across power electronics, semiconductors and cloud-based software technologies. Our integrated approach to energy solutions maximizes a home’s energy potential while providing advanced monitoring and remote maintenance capabilities. The Enphase Home Energy Solution with IQ uses a single technology platform for seamless management of the whole solution, enabling rapid commissioning with the Installer Toolkit™; consumption monitoring with our Envoy™ Communications Gateway with IQ Combiner+, Enphase Enlighten, a cloud-based energy management platform, and our Enphase AC Battery™. System owners can use Enphase Enlighten to monitor their home’s solar generation, energy storage and consumption from any web-enabled device. Unlike some of our competitors, who utilize a traditional inverter, or offer separate components of solutions, we have built-in system redundancy in both PV generation and energy storage, eliminating the risk that comes with a single-point of failure. Further, the nature of our cloud-based, monitored system allows for remote firmware and software updates, enabling cost-effective remote maintenance and ongoing utility compliance.
The Enphase IQ 7™ microinverter and Enphase IQ 7+™ microinverter, part of our seventh-generation IQ product family, support high-powered 60-cell and 72-cell solar modules and integrate with alternating current (“AC”) modules. Our IQ 7X™ microinverter addresses 96-cell photovoltaic (“PV”) modules up to 400W direct DC and with its 97.5% California Energy Commission (“CEC”) efficiency rating, is ideal for integration into high power modules.
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During 2020, we started shipping our IQ 7A™ for high-power monofacial and bifacial solar modules to customers in Australia and Europe. Our IQ 7A microinverters, which began shipping to customers in North America in November 2019, support up to 450W high-power modules, targeting high-power residential and commercial applications. Our customers will be able to pair the IQ 7A microinverter with monofacial or bifacial solar modules, up to 450 W, from solar module manufacturers who are expected to introduce high-power variants of their products in the next three years.
AC Module (“ACM”) products are integrated systems which allow installers to be more competitive through improved logistics, reduced installation times, faster inspection and training. We continued to make steady progress during the fourth quarter of 2020 with our ACM partners, including SunPower Corporation, Panasonic Corporation of North America, LONGi Solar, Solaria Corporation, Hanwha Q CELLS, and Maxeon Solar Technologies, Sonnenstromfabrik (CS Wismar GmBH), and DMEGC Solar.
During 2020, we introduced to customers in North America our Enphase storage system, featuring our Ensemble™ management technology, which powers the world’s first grid-independent microinverter-based storage system. Our next-generation battery in North America is Enphase Encharge 10™ or Encharge 3™ storage systems, with usable and scalable capacity of 10.1 kWh and 3.4 kWh, respectively. Enphase Encharge™ storage systems feature Enphase embedded grid-forming microinverters that enable the Always-On capability that keeps homes powered when the grid goes down, and the ability to save money when the grid is up. These systems are compatible with both new and existing Enphase IQ solar systems with IQ 6™, IQ 7™, M215 and M250 microinverters and provide a simple upgrade path for our existing solar customers. We started production shipments of Enphase Encharge storage systems to customers in North America during the second quarter of 2020.
We expect further revisions of our storage products with Ensemble technology to be released in 2021, with a focus on the grid-agnostic IQ 8 PV microinverter for residential installations. Our next-generation IQ 8™ system is based upon our Always On Enphase Ensemble™ energy management technology. This system has five components: 1) energy generation, which is accomplished with the grid-agnostic microinverter IQ 8; 2) energy storage, which is achieved by the Encharge™ battery with capacities of 10.1 kWh and 3.4 kWh; 3) Enpower™ smart switch, which includes a microgrid interconnect device (“MID”); 4) communication and control via the combiner box with the Envoy gateway; and 5) Enlighten, which is the internet of things (“IoT”), cloud software.
The advantage of IQ 8s on the roof will be that these grid-forming microinverters produce power from panels even during blackouts, as long as the sun is still shining. It addresses a major drawback of traditional solar installations without the need for storage and is differentiated in that respect.
We also expect to introduce both Enphase IQ 8D™ for commercial solar purposes and Ensemble-in-a Box, an off-grid solar and storage system.
Our Strategy
Our objective is to be the leading provider of energy management solutions worldwide. Key elements of our strategy include:
Best-in-class customer experience. Our value proposition is to deliver products that are productive, reliable, smart, simple and safe, and superior customer service, to enable homeowners’ storage and energy independence. On the service front, our installer, distributor and module partners are our first line of association with our ultimate customer, the homeowner and business user. Our goals are to partner better with these service providers so that we can provide exceptional high quality service to our homeowner. We are convinced that continued reinforcement of customer experience improvements can be a competitive advantage for us.
Grow market share worldwide. We intend to capitalize on our market leadership in the microinverter category and our momentum with installers and owners to expand our market share position in our core markets. In addition, we intend to further increase our market share in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America regions. Further, we intend to expand into new markets, including emerging markets, with new and existing products and local go-to-market capabilities.
Expand our product offerings. We continue to invest in research and development to develop all components of our energy management solution and remain committed to providing our customers and partners with best-in-class power electronics, storage solutions, communications, and load control all managed by a cloud-based energy management system.
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Increase power and efficiency and reduce cost per watt. Our engineering team is focused on continuing to increase average power conversion efficiency above 97% and AC output power beyond 350 watts in order to pair with DC modules rated over 400 watts. We intend to continue to leverage our semiconductor integration, power electronics expertise and manufacturing economies of scale to further reduce cost per watt.
Extend our technological innovation. We distinguish ourselves from other inverter companies with our systems-based and high technology approach, and the ability to leverage strong research and development capabilities.
Focus on the homeowner and installer partners. We are focused on generating revenue through digitalization of the business-to-business and business-to-customer process of the partner and customer journey. Future key focus is to expand our digital presence through enhancing our array of tools on our digital platforms to keep us continually connected with our installers and homeowners, as well as increasing the use of the online store significantly.
Customers and Sales
We currently offer solutions targeting the residential and commercial markets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central American markets, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India and certain other Asian markets. We sell our solutions primarily to solar distributors who resell to installers and integrators, who in turn integrate our products into complete solar PV installations for residential and commercial system owners. We work with many of the leading solar and electrical distributors. In addition to our distributors, we sell directly to large installers, original equipment manufacturers (“OEM”), strategic partners and homeowners. Our OEM customers include solar module manufacturers who bundle our products and solutions with their solar module products and resell to both distributors and installers. We also sell certain products and services directly to the homeowners and the do-it-yourself market through our legacy product upgrade program or our online store. Strategic partners include a variety of companies including industrial equipment suppliers and providers of solar financing solutions. In 2020, one customer accounted for approximately 29% of total net revenues. The revenues generated from the U.S. market have represented 82%, 84% and 69% of our total revenue for annual period ending on December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Manufacturing, Quality Control and Key Suppliers
We outsource the manufacturing of our products to manufacturing partners. Flex Ltd. and affiliates (“Flex”) and Salcomp Manufacturing India Pvt. Ltd. (“Salcomp”) assemble and test our microinverter, AC Battery storage systems and Envoy products. Prices for such services are agreed to by the parties on a quarterly basis, and we are obligated to purchase manufactured products and raw materials that cannot be resold upon the termination of the agreement. Flex also provides receiving, kitting, storage, transportation, inventory visibility and other value-added logistics services at locations managed by Flex. Hong Kong Sinbon Industrial Limited manufactures our custom AC cables. During the fourth quarter of 2020, we qualified Amperex Technology Limited (“ATL”) in addition to A123 Systems LLC (“A123”) as our lithium-ion batteries suppliers to help increase our available capacity. In addition, we rely on several unaffiliated companies to supply certain components used in the fabrication of our products.
Our partnership with Flex and Salcomp provides us with strategic manufacturing capabilities and flexibility. In the beginning of the second quarter of 2019, we announced the first shipment of seventh-generation Enphase IQTM microinverters produced in Mexico as part of our expanded manufacturing agreement with Flex. In addition, we began microinverter production at Salcomp in India and started shipping to customers in the fourth quarter of 2020. We anticipate that this additional manufacturing capacity in Mexico and India could help us to not only mitigate tariffs, but also better serve our customers by cutting down delivery times and diversifying our supply chain.
Customer Service
We continue to cultivate an organizational focus on customer satisfaction and are committed to providing a best-in-class customer experience. We maintain high levels of customer engagement through our customer support group and the Enlighten cloud-based software portal. During 2020, we introduced the Enphase Community to help installers and homeowners solve their problems quickly. We launched Service-on-the-Go™ in Australia, which installers can use from their mobile devices to get service instantly. Our Net Promoter Score (commonly referred to as “NPS”) improved from 52% in 2019 to 65% in 2020 through multiple customer service initiatives. In 2020, the service organization achieved average wait time of under 3 minutes.
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Research and Development
We devote substantial resources to research and development with the objective of developing new products and systems, adding new features to existing products and systems and reducing unit costs. Our research and development roadmap identifies new system-level features and defines improvement targets for product cost and performance to support our growth and to optimize the effectiveness of our energy management solutions for our customers. We measure the effectiveness of our research and development against metrics that include product cost, efficiency, reliability and power output, as well as feature content and ease-of-use.
Intellectual Property
We operate in an industry in which innovation, investment in new ideas and protection of our intellectual property (“IP”), rights are critical for success. We protect our technology through a variety of means, including through patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets laws in the U.S. and similar laws in other countries, confidentiality agreements and other contractual arrangements. As of December 31, 2020, we had 234 issued U.S. patents, 80 issued foreign patents, 60 pending U.S. patent applications and 33 pending foreign counterpart patent applications. Our issued patents are scheduled to expire between years 2021 and 2040.
We license certain power line communications technology and software for integration into our custom application specific integrated circuits (“ASIC”s), under a fully-paid, royalty-free license, which includes the right for us to source directly from the licensor’s suppliers or manufacture certain ASIC hardware should the licensor fail, under certain conditions, to deliver such technology in the future. This license includes a limited exclusivity period during which the licensor has agreed not to license the licensed technology to any third-party manufacturer of electronic components or systems for use in the solar energy market. The license carries a 75-year term, subject to earlier termination upon agreement of the parties, or by us in connection with the insolvency of the licensor.
We also license digital intellectual property cores, or IP blocks, for integration into and distribution with certain electronic components built into our products, including our ASICs, complex programmable logic devices (“CPLDs”), and field-programmable gate arrays or FPGAs. This is a fully-paid, non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free license providing for the integration of such digital IP blocks in an unlimited number of electronic component designs and the distribution of such electronic components with our products. Other than in connection with the distribution of our products, our use of such digital IP blocks is limited to certain of our business sites. The license is perpetual, subject to earlier termination by either party upon the termination, suspension or insolvency of the other party’s business, or by the licensor upon a breach of the license agreement by us. In addition, we license open source software from third parties for integration into our Envoy products. Such open source software is licensed under open source licenses. These licenses are perpetual and require us to attribute the source of the software to the original software developer, which we provide via our website.
We continually assess the need for patent protection for those aspects of our technology, designs and methodologies and processes that we believe provide significant competitive advantages. A majority of our patents relate to DC to AC power conversion and energy storage for alternative energy power systems, as well as power system monitoring, control and management systems.
With respect to proprietary know-how that is not patentable and processes for which patents are difficult to enforce, we rely on trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements to safeguard our interests. We believe that many elements of our microinverter and storage manufacturing processes involve proprietary know-how, technology or data that are not covered by patents or patent applications, including technical processes, test equipment designs, algorithms and procedures.
We own or have rights to various registered trademarks and service marks in the U.S. and in other countries, including Enphase, Ensemble, Encharge Envoy, Enpower and Enlighten, and rely on both registration of our marks as well as common law protection where available.
All of our research and development personnel have entered into confidentiality and proprietary information agreements with us. These agreements address intellectual property protection issues and require our employees to assign to us all of the inventions, designs and technologies they develop during the course of employment with us.
We also require our customers and business partners to enter into confidentiality agreements before we disclose any sensitive aspects of our technology or business plans.
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As part of our overall strategy to protect our intellectual property, we may take legal actions to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property or from otherwise gaining access to our technology.
Seasonality
Historically, the majority of our revenues are from the North American and European regions which experience higher sales of our products in the second, third and fourth quarters and have been affected by seasonal customer demand trends, including weather patterns and construction cycles. The first quarter historically has had softer customer demand in our industry, due to these same factors. Although these seasonal factors are common in the solar sector, historical patterns should not be considered a reliable indicator of our future sales activity or performance.
Government Regulations
Our business activities are global and are subject to various federal, state, local, and foreign laws, rules and regulations. For example, substantially all of our import operations are subject to complex trade and customs laws, regulations and tax requirements such as sanctions orders or tariffs set by governments through mutual agreements or unilateral actions. In addition, the countries in which our products are manufactured or imported may from time to time impose additional duties, tariffs or other restrictions on our imports or adversely modify existing restrictions. Changes in tax policy or trade regulations, the disallowance of tax deductions on imported merchandise, or the imposition of new tariffs on imported products, could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Compliance with these laws, rules and regulations has not had, and is not expected to have, a material effect on our capital expenditures and results of operations.
Privacy and Security Laws
There are also data privacy and security laws to which we are currently, and/or may in the future, be subject. The U.S., federal government, individual U.S. states, EU member countries and other jurisdictions, including Switzerland, have adopted data protection laws and regulations which impose significant compliance obligations. Moreover, the collection and use of personal health data in the EU is governed by the provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).
The GDPR, which is wide-ranging in scope, imposes several requirements relating to the control over personal data by individuals to whom the personal data relates, the information provided to the individuals, the documentation we must maintain, the security and confidentiality of the personal data, data breach notification and the use of third-party processors in connection with the processing of personal data. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data out of the EU, provides an enforcement authority and authorizes the imposition of large penalties for noncompliance, including the potential for significant fines. The GDPR requirements apply not only to third-party transactions, but also to transfers of information between us and our subsidiaries, including employee information. The GDPR has increased our responsibility and potential liability in relation to all types of personal data that we process, including in clinical trials, and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms to ensure compliance with the GDPR, which could divert management’s attention and increase our cost of doing business. However, despite our ongoing efforts to bring our practices into compliance with the GDPR, we may not be successful either due to various factors within our control or other factors outside our control. It is also possible that local data protection authorities may have different interpretations of the GDPR, leading to potential inconsistencies amongst various EU member states.
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Additionally, in June 2018, the state of California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), which contains requirements similar to GDPR for the handling of personal information of California residents, which became effective in January 2020. The CCPA establishes a privacy framework for covered businesses, including an expansive definition of personal information and data privacy rights for California residents. The CCPA includes a framework with potentially severe statutory damages and private rights of action. The CCPA requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers (as that word is broadly defined in the CCPA), provide such consumers new ways to opt-out of certain sales of personal information, and allow for a new cause of action for data breaches. It remains unclear how the CCPA will be interpreted, but as currently written, it will likely impact our business activities and exemplifies the vulnerability of our business to not only cyber threats but also the evolving regulatory environment related to personal data. As we expand our operations, the CCPA may increase our compliance costs and potential liability. Some observers have noted that the CCPA could mark the beginning of a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the United States. Additionally, other states are beginning to pass similar laws.
Government Incentives
U.S. federal, state, and local government bodies, as well as non-U.S. government bodies provide incentives to owners, distributors, system integrators and manufacturers of solar energy systems to promote solar energy in the form of rebates, tax credits, lower VAT rate and other financial incentives such as system performance payments, payments for renewable energy credits associated with renewable energy generation and exclusion of solar energy systems from property tax assessments. The market for on‑grid applications, where solar power is used to supplement a customer’s electricity purchased from the utility network or sold to a utility under tariff, often depends in large part on the availability and size of these government subsidies and economic incentives, which vary by geographic market and from time to time, thus helping to catalyze customer acceptance of solar energy as an alternative to utility-provided power.
Our revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 and first quarter of 2020 was positively impacted by the scheduled phase-down of the investment tax credit for solar projects under Section 48(a) (the “ITC”) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 provided a 30% federal tax credit for residential and commercial solar installations through December 31, 2019, which was reduced to a tax credit of 26% for any solar energy system that began construction during 2020 through December 31, 2022, and 22% thereafter to December 31, 2023 before being reduced to 10% for commercial installations and 0% for residential installations beginning on January 1, 2024. As a result, several of our customers explored opportunities to purchase products in 2019 to take advantage of safe harbor guidance from the IRS published in June 2018, allowing them to preserve the historical 30% investment tax credit for solar equipment purchased in 2019 for solar projects that are completed after December 31, 2019.
Competition
The markets for our products are highly competitive, and we compete with central and string inverter manufacturers, storage system manufacturers and new technologies that compete with our business. The principal areas in which we compete with other companies include:
product performance and features;
total cost of ownership;
breadth of product line;
local sales and distribution capabilities;
module compatibility and interoperability;
reliability and duration of product warranty;
technological expertise;
brand recognition;
customer service and support;
compliance with industry standards and certifications;
compliance with current and planned local electrical codes;
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integration with storage offerings;
size and financial stability of operations;
size of installed base; and
local manufacturing and product content.
Several of our existing and potential competitors are significantly larger than we are and may have greater financial, marketing, distribution, and customer support resources, and may have significantly broader brand recognition, especially in certain markets. In addition, some of our competitors have more resources and experience in developing or acquiring new products and technologies and creating market awareness for these offerings
Competitors in the inverter market include, among others, SolarEdge Technologies, Inc., Fronius International GmbH, SMA Solar Technology AG, AP Systems, Generac, Tesla, Inc., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Delta, Ginglong, Sungrow, Solax and other companies offering string inverters with and without solar optimizers. We believe that our microinverter solutions offer significant advantages and competitive differentiation relative to traditional central or string inverter technology, even when supplemented by DC-to-DC optimizers on the roof. Competitors in the storage market include Tesla, LG Chem, Sonnen, Generac, Panasonic, BYD, E3/DC, Senec, Schneider, Goal Zero, Simpliphi and other producers of battery cells and integrated storage systems.
Human Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2020, we had 850 full-time employees. Of the full-time employees, 369 were engaged in research and development, 302 in sales and marketing, 96 in general and administration and 83 in manufacturing and operations. Of these employees, 321 were in the United States, 352 in India, 82 in New Zealand, 44 in Europe, 16 in Australia, 18 in China,16 in Mexico and 1 in Canada.
None of our employees are represented by a labor union; however, our employees in France are represented by a collective bargaining agreement. We have not experienced any employment-related work stoppages, and we consider our relations with our employees to be good.
Culture
Supporting our purpose to “Advance a sustainable future for all,” all employees are expected to uphold the following core values that drive our culture:
Customer First
Integrity
Innovation
Teamwork
Quality
These core values are represented by teamwork, performance and reward system. Values are reinforced in new hire training, culture workshops and everyday interactions.
Talent
Successful execution of our strategy is dependent on attracting, continuous career development and retention of key employees and members of our management team. The skills, experience and industry knowledge of our employees significantly benefit our operations and financial performance. We continuously evaluate, modify, and enhance our internal processes and technologies to increase employee engagement, productivity, and efficiency.
We are committed to promoting and cultivating an inclusive and diverse culture that welcomes and celebrates everyone without bias. In addition, we look to actively engage within our communities to foster and attain social equity.

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Compensation Philosophy
Our compensation philosophy creates the framework for our rewards strategy. We have a pay-for-performance culture that ties compensation to the performance of the individual and the company. We provide competitive compensation programs that focus on the following five key elements:
Pay-for-performance: Reward and recognize leading contributors and high potential employees by targeting the 65th percentile of market for total direct compensation, which includes base salary, quarterly bonus, and stock-based compensation;
External market-based research: Pay levels that are competitive with respect to the labor markets in which we compete for talent;
Internal equity: Providing for fair pay relationships within our organization;
Fiscal responsibility: Providing affordable programs that are compliant with the local laws; and
Legal compliance: Ensure the organization is legally compliant in all states and countries in which we operate.
Health and Wellness
We are committed to providing our employees with competitive and comprehensive benefits packages. Our benefits packages provide a balance of protection along with the flexibility to meet the individual health and wellness needs of our employees.
Available Information
We file electronically with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) can be accessed on our Investor Relations website at www.investor.enphase.com. Alternatively, you may access these reports at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. We make available, free of charge, copies of these reports as soon as reasonably practicable after filing these reports with the SEC or otherwise furnishing it to the SEC. The contents of our websites are not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any references to our websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.
Item 1A.    Risk Factors
We have identified the following risks and uncertainties that may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. The risks described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently believe are not material may also significantly impair our business operations. Our business could be harmed by any of these risks. The trading price of our common stock could decline due to any of these risks, and you may lose all or part of your investment. In assessing these risks, you should also refer to the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes. See also “Forward-Looking Statements” in the forepart of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Risks Related to our Business, Operations and Our Industry
If demand for solar energy solutions does not grow or grows at a slower rate than we anticipate, including as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our business will suffer.
Our microinverter and AC Battery storage systems are utilized in solar PV installations, which provide on-site distributed power generation. As a result, our future success depends on continued demand for solar energy solutions and the ability of solar equipment vendors to meet this demand. The solar industry is an evolving industry that has experienced substantial changes in recent years, and we cannot be certain that consumers and businesses will adopt solar PV systems as an alternative energy source at levels sufficient to continue to grow our business. Traditional electricity distribution is based on the regulated industry model under which businesses and consumers obtain their electricity from a government regulated utility. For alternative methods of distributed power to succeed, businesses and consumers must adopt new purchasing practices. The viability and continued growth in demand for solar energy solutions, and in turn, our products, may be impacted by many factors outside of our control, including:
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market acceptance of solar PV systems based on our product platform;
cost competitiveness, reliability and performance of solar PV systems compared to conventional and non-solar renewable energy sources and products;
availability and amount of government subsidies and incentives to support the development and deployment of solar energy solutions;
the extent to which the electric power industry and broader energy industries are deregulated to permit broader adoption of solar electricity generation;
the cost and availability of key raw materials and components used in the production of solar PV systems;
prices of traditional utility-provided energy sources;
levels of investment by end-users of solar energy products, which tend to decrease when economic growth slows; and
the emergence, continuance or success of, or increased government support for, other alternative energy generation technologies and products.
If demand for solar energy solutions does not grow, demand for our customers’ products as well as demand for our products will decrease, which would have an adverse impact on our ability to increase our revenue and grow our business.
Short-term demand and supply imbalances, especially for solar module technology, have recently caused prices for solar technology solutions to decline rapidly. Furthermore, competition in the solar industry has increased due to the emergence of lower-cost manufacturers along the entire solar value chain causing further price declines, excess inventory and oversupply. These market disruptions may continue to occur and may increase pressure to reduce prices, which could adversely affect our business and financial results.
Further, our success depends on continued demand for solar energy solutions and the ability of solar equipment vendors to meet this demand. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for solar energy solutions decreased in the second and third quarters of 2020 compared to the same quarters of the prior year. The demand for solar energy solutions may continue to decrease, or at least not continue its growth relative to pre-pandemic periods and recent years, as a result of government orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, due to adverse worldwide economic and market conditions, or other factors. If demand for solar energy solutions decreases or does not grow, demand for our customers’ products as well as demand for our products will decrease, which would have an adverse impact on our ability to increase our revenue and grow our business.
The rapidly changing solar industry makes it difficult to evaluate our current business and future prospects.
The solar energy industry is one of the fastest growing forms of renewable energy and is undergoing and subject to rapid change. The solar energy industry will take several more years to develop and further mature, which makes it difficult to evaluate our current business, and we cannot be certain that the market will grow to the size or at the rate we expect. We have encountered and will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing industries, including increased expenses as we continue to grow our business. If we do not manage these risks and overcome these difficulties successfully, our business will suffer.
Since we began commercial shipments of our products, our revenue, gross profit and results of operations have varied and are likely to continue to vary from quarter to quarter due to a number of factors, many of which are not within our control. It is difficult for us to accurately forecast our future revenue and gross profit and plan expenses accordingly and, therefore, it is difficult for us to predict our future results of operations.
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We depend on sole-source and limited-source suppliers for key components and products. If we are unable to source these components and products on a timely basis, we will not be able to deliver our products to our customers.
We depend on sole-source and limited-source suppliers for key components of our products, such as our ASICs and lithium-ion batteries. Any of the sole-source and limited-source suppliers upon whom we rely could experience quality and reliability issues, stop producing our components, cease operations, or be acquired by, or enter into exclusive arrangements with, our competitors. We generally do not have long-term supply agreements with our suppliers, and our purchase volumes may currently be too low for us to be considered a priority customer by most of our suppliers. As a result, most of these suppliers could stop selling to us at commercially reasonable prices, or at all. Any such quality or reliability issue, or interruption or delay may force us to seek similar components or products from alternative sources, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Switching suppliers may require that we redesign our products to accommodate new components, and may potentially require us to re-qualify our products, which would be costly and time-consuming. Any interruption in the quality or supply of sole-source or limited-source components for our products would adversely affect our ability to meet scheduled product deliveries to our customers and could result in lost revenue or higher expenses and would harm our business.
Our business has been affected by, is currently being adversely affected and could be materially and adversely affected in the future by the current impacts and evolving effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic may continue to, and other actual or threatened epidemics, pandemics, outbreaks, or public health crises may in the future, adversely affect our and our customers’ results of operations and financial condition, our supply chain and our business.
Our business has been affected by, is currently being adversely affected and could be materially and adversely affected in the future by the evolving effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also continues to have worldwide impact resulting in a global slowdown of economic activity which has decreased demand for a broad variety of goods and services, including from our customers, while also disrupting sales channels and marketing activities. As a result, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on our sales and our results of operations. We are closely evaluating the impacts of the evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our ability, and the ability of our third-party partners to effectively market, maintain supply, sell and distribute our products. Further, even though vaccine programs have recently been initiated, there is no current indication whether these vaccine programs will be effective. We are currently unable to predict how long the COVID-19 pandemic will continue, whether vaccinations or other actions will contain the pandemic, and the extent and duration of the pandemic’s continued impact on our current or future performance.
Among other impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated governmental orders, including the various “shelter-in-place” orders, slowed the demand for our products, and we expect the pandemic will continue to reduce demand for our products and impede or cause temporary and long-term disruptions in solar installations, our supply chains and/or delays in the delivery of our products. The most significant near-term impacts of COVID-19 on our financial performance have been a decline in sales orders as future residential and commercial system owners are canceling sales meetings with system installation professionals or postponing system installations. As the purchase of new solar energy management solutions declines as part of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer spending, many businesses through which we distribute our products are working at limited operational capacity.
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated governmental orders could require or cause employees to continue to “shelter-in-place” for longer periods of time, which could adversely affect our ability to adequately staff and manage our businesses. While our field-based personnel are engaging in limited in-person interactions, they are primarily using electronic communication, such as emails, phone calls and video conferences. We expect the different quality of electronic interactions as compared with in-person interactions, as well as the reduced quantity of interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, to reduce the effectiveness of our sales personnel, as well as those of our partners, which have and could negatively affect our sales and future revenue. Further, such risks could also adversely affect our customers' financial condition, resulting in reduced spending for our solar products.
The global spread of COVID-19 and the efforts to control it have adversely affected, and could continue to adversely affect, global supply chains. Any disruptions to our suppliers and manufacturers by, for example, worker absenteeism, quarantines, office and factory closures, disruptions to ports and other shipping infrastructure, or other travel or health-related restrictions have adversely affected and could continue to have an adverse impact on our business and operations. For example, the general market for the semiconductors has been disrupted by the
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COVID-19 pandemic, and that disruption has impacted and may in future further impact the component supply for our IQ7 and IQ8 products. As a result of these supply chain disruptions, we are working to expand our supplier base, but there can be no assurance that these efforts will be successful or that supply chain disruptions will not continue, or worsen. Limits on manufacturing availability or capacity, or delays in production or delivery of components, due to COVID-19-related restrictions could delay or inhibit our ability to obtain supply of components and produce finished products and offerings, which could adversely affect our business, operations and customer relationships.
Our liquidity also may be negatively impacted if sales decline significantly for an extended period due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the extent to which the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and our precautionary measures in response thereto impact our business and liquidity will depend on future developments, which are uncertain and cannot be precisely predicted at this time.
The ultimate extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, financial condition and results of operations will depend on future developments, including those that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence at this time, including the ultimate duration of the pandemic, travel restrictions, quarantines, social distancing and business closure requirements in the U.S. and other countries, and the effectiveness of actions taken globally to contain and treat the disease. It is possible that additional legislation or governmental action will be taken in response to the evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot assure you as to the ultimate content, timing, or effect of changes, nor is it possible at this time to estimate the impact of any such potential legislation or governmental action; however, such changes or the ultimate impact of changes could negatively affect our revenue or sales of our current and or potential future products. Moreover, the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic remain unknown, and it is possible that following the pandemic in-person interactions will remain limited, which would negatively impact our sales team and our future revenues. These and other potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic discussed elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section, as well as any future and unforeseen risks related to the pandemic not yet contemplated, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. To the extent the evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, they may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks and uncertainties described elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section.
It is also possible that future global pandemics could also occur and also materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We depend upon a sole-source and small number of outside contract manufacturers, and our business and operations could be disrupted if we encounter problems with these contract manufacturers.
We do not have internal manufacturing capabilities and rely upon a small number of contract manufacturers to build our products. In particular, we outsource the manufacturing of our products to manufacturing partners. Flex Ltd. and affiliates (“Flex”), and Salcomp Manufacturing India Pvt. Ltd. (“Salcomp”) assemble and test our microinverter, AC Battery storage systems and Envoy products. Prices for such services are agreed to by the parties on a quarterly basis, and we are obligated to purchase manufactured products and raw materials that cannot be resold upon the termination of the related agreements. As of December 31, 2020 our related purchase obligations (including amounts related to component inventory procured by our primary contract manufacturers on our behalf) were approximately $162.2 million. The timing of purchases in future periods could differ materially from our estimates due to fluctuations in demand requirements related to varying sales levels as well as changes in economic conditions.
Flex also provides receiving, kitting, storage, transportation, inventory visibility and other value-added logistics services at locations managed by Flex. Hong Kong Sinbon Industrial Limited manufactures our custom AC cables. During the fourth quarter of 2020, we qualified Amperex Technology Limited in addition to A123 Systems LLC as our lithium-ion batteries suppliers to help increase our available capacity. In addition, we rely on several unaffiliated companies to supply certain components used in the fabrication of our products.
Our reliance on a small number of contract manufacturers makes us vulnerable to possible capacity constraints and reduced control over component availability, delivery schedules, manufacturing yields and costs. We do not have long-term supply contracts with our contract manufacturing partners. Consequently, these manufacturers are not obligated to supply products to us for any period, in any specified quantity or at any certain price. If any of these suppliers reduce or eliminate the supply of the components to us in the future, our revenues, business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely impacted.
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Further, the revenues that our contract manufacturers generate from our orders may represent a relatively small percentage of their overall revenues. As a result, fulfilling our orders may not be considered a priority in the event of constrained ability to fulfill all of their customer obligations in a timely manner. In addition, the facilities in which the vast majority of our products are manufactured are located outside of the U.S. We believe that the location of these facilities outside of the U.S. increases supply risk, including the risk of supply interruptions or reductions in manufacturing quality or controls.
If any of our contract manufacturers were unable or unwilling to manufacture our products in required volumes and at high quality levels or renew existing terms under supply agreements, we would have to identify, qualify and select acceptable alternative contract manufacturers, which may not be available to us on favorable terms, if at all. For example, we have experienced a volume shortage of components and may experience in future as well. An alternative contract manufacturer may not be available to us when needed or may not be in a position to satisfy our quality or production requirements on commercially reasonable terms. Any significant interruption in manufacturing would require us to reduce our supply of products to our customers, which in turn would reduce our revenues, harm our relationships with our customers and cause us to forgo potential revenue opportunities.
If we or our contract manufacturers are unable to obtain raw materials in a timely manner or if the price of raw materials increases significantly, production time and product costs could increase, which may adversely affect our business.
The manufacturing and packaging processes used by our contract manufacturers depend on raw materials such as copper, aluminum, silicon and petroleum-based products. From time to time, suppliers may extend lead times, limit supplies or increase prices due to capacity constraints or other factors. Certain of our suppliers have the ability to pass along to us directly or through our contract manufacturers any increases in the price of raw materials. If the prices of these raw materials rise significantly, we may be unable to pass on the increased cost to our customers. While we may from time to time enter into hedging transactions to reduce our exposure to wide fluctuations in the cost of raw materials, the availability and effectiveness of these hedging transactions may be limited. Due to all these factors, our results of operations could be adversely affected if we or our contract manufacturers are unable to obtain adequate supplies of raw materials in a timely manner or at reasonable cost. In addition, from time to time, we or our contract manufacturers may need to reject raw materials that do not meet our specifications, resulting in potential delays or declines in output. Furthermore, problems with our raw materials may give rise to compatibility or performance issues in our products, which could lead to an increase in product warranty claims. Errors or defects may arise from raw materials supplied by third parties that are beyond our detection or control, which could lead to additional product warranty claims that may adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Manufacturing problems could result in delays in product shipments, which would adversely affect our revenue, competitive position and reputation.
We have in the past and may in the future experience delays, disruptions or quality control problems in our manufacturing operations. Our product development, manufacturing and testing processes are complex and require significant technological and production process expertise. Such processes involve a number of precise steps from design to production. Any change in our processes could cause one or more production errors, requiring a temporary suspension or delay in our production line until the errors can be researched, identified and properly addressed and rectified. This may occur particularly as we introduce new products, modify our engineering and production techniques, and expand our capacity. In addition, our failure to maintain appropriate quality assurance processes could result in increased product failures, loss of customers, increased production costs and delays. Any of these developments could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
A disruption could also occur in one of our contract manufacturers’ facilities due to any number of reasons, such as equipment failure, contaminated materials, COVID-19 pandemic impacts or process deviations, which could adversely impact manufacturing yields or delay product shipments. As a result, we could incur additional costs that would adversely affect our gross profit, and product shipments to our customers could be delayed beyond the schedules requested, which would negatively affect our revenue, competitive position and reputation.
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Additionally, manufacturing yields depend on a number of factors, including the stability and manufacturability of the product design, manufacturing improvements gained over cumulative production volumes, and the quality and consistency of component parts. Capacity constraints, raw materials shortages, logistics issues, labor shortages, and changes in customer requirements, manufacturing facilities or processes have historically caused, and may in the future cause, reduced manufacturing yields, negatively impacting the gross profit on, and our production capacity for, those products. Moreover, an increase in the rejection and rework rate of products during the quality control process before, during or after manufacture would result in our experiencing lower yields, gross profit and production capacity.
Component shortages have required us and may continue to require us to incur expedited shipping costs to meet delivery schedules, which impacts our revenue and gross profit.
The risks of these types of manufacturing problems are further increased during the introduction of new product lines, which has from time to time caused, and may in the future cause, temporary suspension of product lines while problems are addressed or corrected. Since our business is substantially dependent on a limited number of product lines, any prolonged or substantial suspension of an individual product line could result in a material adverse effect on our revenue, gross profit, competitive position, and distributor and customer relationships.
We rely primarily on distributors, installers and providers of solar financing to assist in selling our products to customers, and the failure of these customers to perform at the expected level, or at all, would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of our operations.
We sell our solutions primarily through distributors, as well as through direct sales to solar equipment installers and developers of third-party solar finance offerings. We do not have exclusive arrangements with these third parties. As a result, many of our customers also use or market and sell products from our competitors, which may reduce our sales. Our customers may generally terminate their relationships with us at any time, or with short notice. Our customers may fail to devote resources necessary to sell our products at the prices, in the volumes and within the time frames that we expect, or may focus their marketing and sales efforts on products of our competitors. In addition, participants in the solar industry are becoming increasingly focused on vertical integration of the solar financing and installation process, which may lead to an overall reduction in the number of potential parties who may purchase and install our products.
In addition, while we provide our distributors and installers with training and other programs, including accreditations and certifications, these programs may not be effective or utilized consistently. In addition, new partners may require extensive training and may take significant time and resources to achieve productivity. Our partners may subject us to lawsuits, potential liability, and reputational harm if, for example, any of our partners misrepresent the functionality of our platform or products to customers, fail to perform services to our customers’ expectations, or violate laws or our policies. In addition, our partners may utilize our platform to develop products and services that could potentially compete with products and services that we offer currently or in the future. Concerns over competitive matters or intellectual property ownership could constrain the growth and development of these partnerships or result in the termination of one or more partnerships. If we fail to effectively manage and grow our network of partners, or properly monitor the quality and efficacy of their service delivery, our ability to sell our products and efficiently provide our services may be impacted, and our operating results may be harmed.
Our future performance depends on our ability to effectively manage our relationships with our existing customers, as well as to attract additional customers that will be able to market and support our products effectively, especially in markets in which we have not previously distributed our products. Termination of agreements with current customers, failure by customers to perform as expected, or failure by us to cultivate new customer relationships, could hinder our ability to expand our operations and harm our revenue and operating results.
The solar industry is highly competitive, and we expect to face increased competition as new and existing competitors introduce products or develop alternative technologies, which could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We compete primarily against central and string inverter manufacturers, as well as against new solutions and emerging technologies that directly compete with our business. A number of companies have developed or are developing microinverters and other products that will compete directly with our solutions in the module-level power electronics market.
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Competitors in the inverter market include, among others, SolarEdge Technologies, Inc., Fronius International GmbH, SMA Solar Technology AG, AP Systems, Generac, Tesla, Inc., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Delta, Ginglong, Sungrow, Solax and other companies offering string inverters. Other existing or emerging companies may also begin offering alternative microinverter, DC-to-DC optimizer, energy storage, monitoring and other solutions that compete with our products. Competitors in the storage market include Tesla, LG Chem, Sonnen, Generac, Panasonic, BYD, E3/DC, Senec, Schneider, Goal Zero, Simpliphi and other producers of battery cells and integrated storage systems.
Several of our existing and potential competitors are significantly larger than we are and may have greater financial, marketing, distribution, and customer support resources, and may have significantly broader brand recognition, especially in certain markets. In addition, some of our competitors have more resources and experience in developing or acquiring new products and technologies and creating market awareness for these offerings. Further, certain competitors may be able to develop new products more quickly than we can and may be able to develop products that are more reliable or that provide more functionality than ours. In addition, some of our competitors have the financial resources to offer competitive products at aggressive or below-market pricing levels, which could cause us to lose sales or market share or require us to lower prices of our products in order to compete effectively. Suppliers of solar products, particularly solar modules, have experienced eroding prices over the last several years and as a result many have faced margin compression and declining revenues. If we have to reduce our prices, or if we are unable to offset any future reductions in our average selling prices by increasing our sales volume, reducing our costs and expenses or introducing new products, our revenues and gross profit would suffer.
Significant developments in alternative technologies, such as advances in other forms of distributed solar PV power generation, storage solutions such as batteries, the widespread use or adoption of fuel cells for residential or commercial properties or improvements in other forms of centralized power production may have a material adverse effect on our business and prospects. Any failure by us to adopt new or enhanced technologies or processes, or to react to changes in existing technologies, could result in product obsolescence, the loss of competitiveness of our products, decreased revenue and a loss of market share to competitors.
We also may face competition from some of our customers or potential customers who evaluate our capabilities against the merits of manufacturing products internally. Other solar module manufacturers could also develop or acquire competing inverter technology or attempt to develop components that directly perform DC-to-AC conversion in the module itself. Due to the fact that such customers may not seek to make a profit directly from the manufacture of these products, they may have the ability to manufacture competitive products at a lower cost than we would charge such customers. As a result, these customers or potential customers may purchase fewer of our systems or sell products that compete with our systems, which would negatively impact our revenue and gross profit.
The loss of, or events affecting, one of our major customers could reduce our sales and have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, one customer accounted for approximately 29% of total net revenues. Further, as of December 31, 2020, amounts due from one customer represented approximately 36% of the total accounts receivable balance, and amounts due from three customers represented 34%, 14% and 11% of the total accounts receivable balance as of December 31, 2019. Our customers’ decisions to purchase our products are influenced by a number of factors outside of our control, including retail energy prices and government regulation and incentives, among others. Although we have agreements with some of our largest customers, these agreements generally do not have long-term purchase commitments and are generally terminable by either party after a relatively short notice period. In addition, these customers may decide to no longer use, or to reduce the use of, our products and services for other reasons that may be out of our control. We may also be affected by events impacting our large customers that result in their decreasing their orders with us or impairing their ability to pay for our products. The loss of, or events affecting, one or more of our large customers have had from time to time, and could in the future have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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Our microinverter systems, including our storage solution, integrated AC Module, eighth-generation IQ microinverters and Ensemble technology, may not achieve broader market acceptance, which would prevent us from increasing our revenue and market share.
If we fail to achieve broader market acceptance of our products, including international acceptance of our eighth-generation IQ microinverters and Ensemble technology announced in the fourth quarter of 2019 and for which product shipments commenced during the second quarter of 2020, there would be an adverse impact on our ability to increase our revenue, gain market share and achieve and sustain profitability. Our ability to achieve broader market acceptance for our products will be impacted by a number of factors, including:
our ability to produce PV systems that compete favorably against other solutions on the basis of price, quality, reliability and performance;
our ability to timely introduce and complete new designs and timely qualify and certify our products;
whether installers, system owners and solar financing providers will continue to adopt our systems, which have a relatively limited history with respect to reliability and performance;
whether installers, system owners and solar financing providers will adopt our storage solution, which is a relatively new technology with a limited history with respect to reliability and performance;
the ability of prospective system owners to obtain long-term financing for solar PV installations based on our product platform on acceptable terms or at all;
our ability to develop products that comply with local standards and regulatory requirements, as well as potential in-country manufacturing requirements; and
our ability to develop and maintain successful relationships with our customers and suppliers.
In addition, our ability to achieve increased market share will depend on our ability to increase sales to established solar installers, who have traditionally sold central or string inverters, or who currently sell DC-to-DC optimizers. These installers often have made substantial investments in design, installation resources and training in traditional central or string inverter systems or DC optimizers, which may create challenges for us to achieve their adoption of our solutions.
Our success in marketing and selling “AC module” versions of our microinverter system depends in part upon our ability to continue to work closely with leading solar module manufacturers.
We continue to work on variants of our microinverter systems that enable direct attachment of a microinverter to solar modules. The market success of such “AC Module” solutions will depend in part on our ability to continue to work closely with SunPower and other solar module manufacturers to design microinverters that are compatible with and can be attached directly to solar modules. We may not be able to encourage solar module manufacturers to work with us on the development of such compatible solutions for a variety of reasons, including differences in marketing or selling strategy, competitive considerations, lack of competitive pricing, and technological compatibility. In addition, our ability to form effective partnerships with solar module manufacturers may be adversely affected by the substantial challenges faced by many of these manufacturers due to declining prices and revenues from sales of solar modules and the tariffs in the U.S.
Our recent and planned expansion into existing and new markets could subject us to additional business, financial and competitive risks.
We currently offer solar microinverter systems targeting the residential and commercial markets throughout the world, and we intend to expand into other international markets. Our success in new geographic and product markets will depend on a number of factors, such as:
acceptance of microinverters in markets in which they have not traditionally been used;
our ability to compete in new product markets to which we are not accustomed;
our ability to manage manufacturing capacity and production;
willingness of our potential customers to incur a higher upfront capital investment than may be required for competing solutions;
timely qualification and certification of new products;
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our ability to reduce production costs in order to price our products competitively;
availability of government subsidies and economic incentives for solar energy solutions;
accurate forecasting and effective management of inventory levels in line with anticipated product demand;
our customer service capabilities and responsiveness; and
timely hiring of the skilled employees and efficient execution of our project plan.
Further, new geographic markets and larger commercial and utility-scale installation markets have different characteristics from the markets in which we currently sell products, and our success will depend on our ability to properly address these differences. These differences may include:
differing regulatory requirements, including tax laws, trade laws, labor, safety, local content, recycling and consumer protection regulations, tariffs, export quotas, customs duties or other trade restrictions;
limited or unfavorable intellectual property protection;
risk of change in international political or economic conditions;
restrictions on the repatriation of earnings;
fluctuations in the value of foreign currencies and interest rates;
difficulties and increased expenses in complying with a variety of U.S. and foreign laws, regulations and trade standards, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act;
potentially longer sales cycles;
generally longer payment cycles and greater difficulty in collecting accounts receivable;
higher volume requirements;
increased customer concentrations;
warranty expectations and product return policies; and
cost, performance and compatibility requirements.
Failure to address these new markets successfully, to generate sufficient revenue from these markets to offset associated research and development, marketing and manufacturing costs, or to otherwise effectively anticipate and manage the risks and challenges associated with our potential expansion into new product and geographic markets, could adversely affect our revenues and our ability to achieve or sustain profitability.
We may fail to capture customers in the new product and geographic markets that we are pursuing.
We are pursuing opportunities in energy management and energy storage which are highly competitive markets. We have made investments in our infrastructure, increased our operating costs and forgone other business opportunities in order to seek opportunities in these areas and will continue to do so. Any new product is subject to certain risks, including component sourcing, strategic partner selection and execution, customer acceptance, competition, product differentiation, market timing, challenges relating to economies of scale in component sourcing and the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel. There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop and grow these or any other new concepts to a point where they will become profitable or generate positive cash flow. If we fail to execute on our plan with respect to new product introductions, these new potential business segments fail to translate into revenue in the quantities or timeline projected, thus, having a materially adverse impact on our revenue, operating results and financial stability.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, we announced our eight-generation IQ microinverters and Ensemble technology. We started production shipments of Ensemble technology to customers in North America during the second quarter of 2020. Our new products are complex and require significant preparation, precautionary safety measures, time-consuming string calculations, extensive design expertise and specialized installation equipment, training and knowledge. Together, these factors significantly increase complexity and cost of installation and limit overall productivity for the installer. Our installers may not have sufficient resources or expertise necessary to sell our products at the prices, in the volumes and within the time frames that we expect, which could hinder our ability to expand our operations and harm our revenue and operating results.
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If we fail to retain our key personnel or if we fail to attract additional qualified personnel, we may not be able to achieve our anticipated level of growth and our business could suffer.
Our future success and ability to implement our business strategy depends, in part, on our ability to attract and retain key personnel, and on the continued contributions of members of our senior management team and key personnel in areas such as engineering, marketing, and sales, any of whom would be difficult to replace. For example, we are highly dependent on our president and chief executive officer, Badrinarayanan Kothandaraman. Mr. Kothandaraman possesses technical knowledge of our business, operations and strategy, and he has substantial experience and contacts that help us implement our goals, strategy and plan. If we lose his services or if he decides to join a competitor or otherwise compete directly or indirectly with us, our business, operating results and financial condition could be materially harmed.
All of our employees, including our senior management, are free to terminate their employment relationships with us at any time. Competition for highly skilled executives and employees in the technology industry is intense, and our competitors have targeted individuals in our organization that have desired skills and experience. If we are not able to continue to attract, train and retain our leadership team and our qualified employees necessary for our business, the progress of our product development programs could be hindered, and we could be materially adversely affected. To help attract, retain and motivate our executives and qualified employees, we use stock-based incentive awards, including restricted stock units. If the value of such stock awards does not appreciate as measured by the performance of the price of our common stock, or if our share-based compensation otherwise ceases to be viewed as a valuable benefit, our ability to attract, retain and motivate our executives and employees could be weakened, which could harm our business and results of operations. Also, if the value of our stock awards increases substantially, this could potentially create substantial personal wealth for our executives and employees and affect our ability to retain our personnel. In addition, any future restructuring plans may adversely impact our ability to attract and retain key employees.
Additionally, our ability to attract qualified personnel, including senior management and key technical personnel, is critical to the execution of our growth strategy. Competition for qualified senior management personnel and highly skilled individuals with technical expertise is extremely intense, and we face challenges identifying, hiring, and retaining qualified personnel in all areas of our business. In addition, integrating new employees into our team could prove disruptive to our operations, require substantial resources and management attention, and ultimately prove unsuccessful. Our failure to attract and retain qualified senior management and other key technical personnel could limit or delay our strategic efforts, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.
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Any failure by management to properly manage growth could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.
Our business has grown rapidly, and if our business develops as currently expected, we anticipate that we will continue to grow rapidly in the near future. Our expected rapid growth could place significant demands on our management, operations, systems, accounting, internal controls and financial resources, and it may also negatively impact our ability to retain key personnel. If we experience difficulties in any of these or other areas, we may not be able to expand our business successfully or effectively manage our growth. Any failure by management to manage our growth and to respond to changes in our business could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we are unsuccessful in continuing to expand our direct-to-consumer sales channel by driving purchases through our website, our business and results of operation could be harmed.
We are subject to general business regulations and laws, as well as federal, state, foreign and provincial regulations and laws specifically governing the internet and e-commerce. Existing and future laws and regulations may impede the growth of the use of the internet, availability of economic broadband access, or other online services, and increase the cost of providing our digital delivery of content and services. These regulations and laws may cover taxation, tariffs, user privacy, data protection, pricing, content, copyrights, distribution, electronic contracts and other communications, consumer protection, broadband internet access and the characteristics and quality of services. It is not clear how existing laws governing issues such as property ownership, sales, use and other taxes, libel and personal privacy apply to the internet and e-commerce. Unfavorable resolution of these issues may harm our business and results of operations.
Although we primarily sell our solutions and products directly to solar distributors, who resell to installers and integrators, who then in turn integrate our products into complete solar PV installations for residential and commercial system owners, we have recently invested significant resources in our direct-to-consumer sales channel through our website, and our future growth relies, in part, on our ability to attract consumers through this channel. Expanding our direct-to-consumer sales model will require significant expenditures in marketing, software development and infrastructure. Further, the success of direct-to-consumer sales through our website is also subject to general business regulations and laws, as well as federal, state, foreign and provincial regulations and laws specifically governing the internet and e-commerce. These regulations and laws may cover taxation, tariffs, privacy, data protection, pricing, distribution, electronic contracts and other communications, consumer protection and intellectual property. These laws and regulations can be complex, difficult to interpret and may change over time. Continued regulatory limitations and other obstacles interfering with our ability to sell our products directly to consumers could have a negative and material impact our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Further, the expansion of our direct-to-consumer channel could alienate some of our existing partners and cause a reduction in sales from these partners. Our existing partners may perceive themselves to be at a disadvantage based on the direct-to-consumer sales offered through our website. Due to these and other factors, conflicts in our sales channels could arise and cause our existing partners to divert resources away from the promotion and sale of our products. If we are unable to successfully continue to drive traffic to, and increase sales through, our website, our business and results of operations could be harmed.
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Risks Related to our Intellectual Property and Technology
We could be subject to breaches of our information technology systems, which could cause significant reputational, legal and financial damages.
Like many companies, we use and store a wide variety of confidential and proprietary information relating to our business. The secure maintenance of this information is critical to our business and reputation. Despite our implementation of security measures, our systems are vulnerable to damages from computer viruses, computer denial-of-service attacks, worms, and other malicious software programs or other attacks, covert introduction of malware to computers and networks, unauthorized access, including impersonation of unauthorized users, efforts to discover and exploit any security vulnerabilities or securities weaknesses, and other similar disruptions. These types of attacks have increased, in general, as more businesses implement remote working environments. Although we make significant efforts to maintain the security and integrity of our information technology and related systems, and have implemented measures to manage the risk of a security breach or disruption, there can be no assurance that our security efforts and measures will be effective, or that attempted security breaches or disruptions would not be successful or damaging.
The techniques used in attempted cyber-attacks and intrusions are sophisticated and constantly evolving, and may be difficult to detect for long periods of time. We may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. Although to date we have not experienced any material breaches of our systems that could have material adverse effect on our business, attacks and intrusions on our systems will continue and we may experience a breach of our systems that compromises sensitive company information or customer data. In addition, hardware, software, or applications we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise information security. If we experience a significant data security breach, we could be exposed to reputational damage and significant costs, including to rebuild our systems, modify our products and services, defend litigation, respond to government enforcement actions, pay damages or take other remedial steps, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. In addition, we may be required to incur significant costs to protect against damage caused by these disruptions or security breaches in the future.
We may also share information with contractors and third-party providers to conduct our business. Although such contractors and third-party providers typically implement encryption and authentication technologies to secure the transmission and storage of data, those third-party providers may experience a significant data security breach, which may also detrimentally affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
The software we use in providing system configuration recommendations or potential energy savings estimates to customers relies in part on third party information that may not be accurate or up-to-date; this may therefore generate inaccurate recommendations or estimates, resulting in a loss of reputation and customer confidence.
We provide our customers online tools to help them determine proper system sizing and configurations, estimates of bill savings, and potential revenues resulting from executing a specific curtailment strategy. These estimates are in turn based on a number of factors such as customer tariff structures, estimated wholesale electricity prices and estimates of the reduction in electricity usage as a result of a curtailment activity. If the estimates we provide prove to be significantly different from actual payments or savings received by our customers, it may result in the loss of reputation and/or customer confidence.
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We are subject to stringent privacy laws, information security policies and contractual obligations governing the use, processing and transfer of personal information and any unauthorized access to, or disclosure or theft of personal information we gather, store or use could harm our reputation and subject us to claims or litigation.
We receive, store and use certain personal information of our customers, and the end-users of our customers’ solar PV systems, including names, addresses, e-mail addresses, credit information and energy production statistics. We also store and use personal information of our employees. We take steps to protect the security, integrity and confidentiality of the personal information we collect, store and transmit, but there is no guarantee that inadvertent or unauthorized use or disclosure will not occur or that third parties will not gain unauthorized access to this information despite our efforts. Because techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not identified until they are launched against a target, we and our suppliers or vendors may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative or mitigation measures.
We are subject to a variety of local, state, national and international laws, directives and regulations that apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal data in the different jurisdictions in which we operate, including comprehensive regulatory systems in the U.S. and Europe. California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA), which creates individual privacy rights for California consumers and increases the privacy and security obligations of entities handling certain personal data. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020, and became enforceable by the California Attorney General on July 1, 2020. The CCPA has been amended from time to time, and, further a new privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act, or CPRA, was approved by California voters in the November 3, 2020 election. Effective starting January 1, 2023, the CPRA will significantly modify the CCPA, including by expanding consumers’ rights with respect to certain sensitive personal information. The CPRA also creates a new state agency that will be vested with authority to implement and enforce the CCPA and the CPRA. It remains unclear what, if any, further modifications will be made to the CCPA or CPRA, or how such legislation will be interpreted. Certain other state laws impose similar privacy obligations and all 50 states have laws including obligations to provide notification of security breaches of computer databases that contain personal information to affected individuals, state officers and others.
In May 25, 2018, the European Union (“EU”), implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), a broad data protection framework that expands the scope of current EU data protection law to non-European Union entities that process, or control the processing of, the personal information of EU subjects.
The GDPR imposes stringent requirements for controllers and processors of personal data, including, for example, more robust disclosures to individuals and a strengthened individual data rights regime, shortened timelines for data breach notifications, limitations on retention of information, increased requirements pertaining to special categories of data, such as health data, and additional obligations when we contract with third-party processors in connection with the processing of the personal data. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data out of the EU and the EEA to the United States and other third countries. In July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a decision that struck down the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, which provided companies with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the EU to the United States and additionally called into question the validity of the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses, on which U.S. companies rely to transfer personal data from Europe to the United States and elsewhere. If we or our vendors fail to comply with the GDPR and the applicable national data protection laws of the EU or EEA member states, or if regulators assert we have failed to comply with these laws, it may lead to regulatory enforcement actions, which can result in monetary penalties of up to €20,000,000 or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher, and other administrative penalties. Further, following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU and the EEA, and the expiry of the transition period, companies have to comply with both the GDPR and the GDPR as incorporated into the United Kingdom national law, the Data Protection Act of 2018, the latter regime having the ability to separately fine up to the greater of £17.5 million or 4% of global turnover. The relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU in relation to certain aspects of data protection law remains unclear, for example around how data can lawfully be transferred between each jurisdiction, which exposes us to further compliance risk.
Compliance with U.S. and international data protection laws and regulations could cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices and compliance procedures in a manner adverse to our business. Our and our collaborators’ and contractors’ failure to fully comply with GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 and other laws could lead to significant fines and require onerous corrective action. In addition,
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data security breaches experienced by us, our collaborators or contractors could result in the loss of trade secrets or other intellectual property, public disclosure of sensitive commercial data, and the exposure of personally identifiable information (including sensitive personal information) of our employees, customers, collaborators and others. Compliance with these and any other applicable privacy and data security laws and regulations is a rigorous and time-intensive process, and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms ensuring compliance with the new data protection rules. Furthermore, the laws are not consistent, and compliance with various different requirements may be costly. If we fail to comply with any such laws or regulations, we may face significant fines and penalties that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Unauthorized use or disclosure of, or access to, any personal information maintained by us or on our behalf, whether through breach of our systems, breach of the systems of our suppliers or vendors by an unauthorized party, or through employee or contractor error, theft or misuse, or otherwise, could harm our business. If any such unauthorized use or disclosure of, or access to, such personal information was to occur, our operations could be seriously disrupted, and we could be subject to demands, claims and litigation by private parties, and investigations, related actions, and penalties by regulatory authorities. In addition, we could incur significant costs in notifying affected persons and entities and otherwise complying with the multitude of foreign, federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the unauthorized access to, or use or disclosure of, personal information. Finally, any perceived or actual unauthorized access to, or use or disclosure of, such information could harm our reputation, substantially impair our ability to attract and retain customers and have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we fail to protect, or incur significant costs in defending, our intellectual property and other proprietary rights, our business and results of operations could be materially harmed.
Our success depends to a significant degree on our ability to protect our intellectual property and other proprietary rights. We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition laws, as well as confidentiality and license agreements and other contractual provisions, to establish and protect our intellectual property and other proprietary rights. We have applied for patent and trademark registrations in the U.S. and in other countries, some of which have been issued. We cannot guarantee that any of our pending applications will be approved or that our existing and future intellectual property rights will be sufficiently broad to protect our proprietary technology, and any failure to obtain such approvals or finding that our intellectual property rights are invalid or unenforceable could force us to, among other things, rebrand or re-design our affected products. In countries where we have not applied for patent protection or where effective intellectual property protection is not available to the same extent as in the U.S., we may be at greater risk that our proprietary rights will be misappropriated, infringed or otherwise violated.
To protect our unregistered intellectual property, including our trade secrets and know-how, we rely in part on trade secret laws and confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and independent contractors. We also require other third parties who may have access to our proprietary technologies and information to enter into non-disclosure agreements. Such measures, however, provide only limited protection, and we cannot assure that our confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements will prevent unauthorized disclosure or use of our confidential information, especially after our employees or third parties end their employment or engagement with us, or provide us with an adequate remedy in the event of such disclosure. Furthermore, competitors or other third parties may independently discover our trade secrets, copy or reverse engineer our products or portions thereof, or develop similar technology. If we fail to protect our intellectual property and other proprietary rights, or if such intellectual property and proprietary rights are infringed, misappropriated or otherwise violated, our business, results of operations or financial condition could be materially harmed.
In the future, we may need to take legal action to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property or from otherwise gaining access to our technology. Protecting and enforcing our intellectual property rights and determining their validity and scope could result in significant litigation costs and require significant time and attention from our technical and management personnel, which could significantly harm our business. In addition, we may not prevail in such proceedings. An adverse outcome of any such proceeding may reduce our competitive advantage or otherwise harm our financial condition and our business.
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We may be subject to disruptions or failures in information technology systems and network infrastructures that could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.
We rely on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of complex information technology systems and network infrastructures to operate our business. In addition, our Enlighten web-based monitoring service, which our installers and end-user customers use to track and monitor the performance of their solar PV systems, is dependent on cloud-based hosting services, along with the availability of WiFi or mobile data services at end-user premises. Despite testing by us, real or perceived errors, failures or bugs in our customer solutions, software or technology or the technology or software we license from third parties, including open source software, may not be found until our customers use our products. Real or perceived errors, failures or bugs in our products could result in negative publicity, loss of or delay in market acceptance of our products, harm to our brand, weakening of our competitive position or claims by customers for losses sustained by them. A disruption, infiltration or failure of our information technology systems, third-party cloud hosting platforms or end-user data services as a result of software or hardware malfunctions, system implementations or upgrades, computer viruses, cyber-attacks, third-party security breaches, employee/human error, theft or misuse, malfeasance, power disruptions, natural disasters or accidents could cause breaches of data security, failure of our Enlighten service, loss of intellectual property and critical data and the release and misappropriation of sensitive competitive information and partner, customer and employee personal data. We have been and may in the future be subject to fraud attempts from outside parties through our electronic systems (such as “phishing” e-mail communications to our finance, technical or other personnel), which could put us at risk for harm from fraud, theft or other loss if our internal controls do not operate as intended. Any such future events could further harm our competitive position, result in a loss of customer confidence, cause us to incur significant costs to remedy any damages and ultimately materially adversely affect our business and financial condition.
Third parties may assert that we are infringing upon their intellectual property rights, which could divert management’s attention, cause us to incur significant costs and prevent us from selling or using the technology to which such rights relate.
Our competitors and other third parties hold numerous patents related to technology used in our industry, and claims of patent or other intellectual property right infringement or violation have been litigated against our competitors. We may also be subject to such claims and litigation. Regardless of their merit, responding to such claims can be time consuming, divert management’s attention and resources, and may cause us to incur significant expenses. While we believe that our products and technology do not infringe upon any intellectual property rights of third parties, we cannot be certain that we would be successful in defending against any such claims. Furthermore, patent applications in the U.S. and most other countries are confidential for a period of time before being published, so we cannot be certain that we are not infringing third parties’ patent rights or that we were the first to conceive or protect inventions covered by our patents or patent applications. An adverse outcome with respect to any intellectual property claim could invalidate our proprietary rights and force us to do one or more of the following:
obtain from a third-party claiming infringement a license to sell or use the relevant technology, which may not be available on reasonable terms, or at all;
stop manufacturing, selling, incorporating or using products that embody the asserted intellectual property;
pay substantial monetary damages;
indemnify our customers under some of our customer contracts; or
expend significant resources to redesign the products that use the infringing technology, or to develop or acquire non-infringing technology.
Any of these actions could result in a substantial reduction in our revenue and could result in losses over an extended period of time.
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Our failure to obtain the right to use necessary third-party intellectual property rights on reasonable terms, or our failure to maintain, and comply with the terms and conditions applicable to these rights, could harm our business and prospects.
We have licensed, and in the future we may choose or be required to license, technology or intellectual property from third parties in connection with the development and marketing of our products. We cannot assure you that such licenses will be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, and our inability to obtain such licenses could require us to substitute technology of lower quality or of greater cost.
Further, such licenses may be non-exclusive, which could result in our competitors gaining access to the same intellectual property. The licensing or acquisition of third party intellectual property rights is a competitive area, and other established companies may pursue strategies to license or acquire third party intellectual property rights that we may consider attractive or necessary. These established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, capital resources or greater development or commercialization capabilities. In addition, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us. We could encounter delays and incur significant costs, in product or service introductions while we attempt to develop alternative products or services, or redesign our products or services, to avoid infringing third party patents or proprietary rights. Failure to obtain any such licenses or to develop a workaround could prevent us from commercializing products or services, and the prohibition of sale or the threat of the prohibition of sale of any of our products or services could materially affect our business and our ability to gain market acceptance for our products or services.
In addition, we incorporate open source software code in our proprietary software. Use of open source software can lead to greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, since open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or controls with respect to origin, functionality or other features of the software. Further, companies that incorporate open source software into their products have, from time to time, faced claims challenging their use of open source software and compliance with open source license terms. As a result, we could be subject to lawsuits by parties claiming ownership of what we believe to be open source software or claiming noncompliance with open source licensing terms. Some open source software licenses require users who distribute open source software as part of their products to publicly disclose all or part of the source code in their software and make any derivative works of the open source code available for limited fees or at no cost. Although we monitor our use of open source software, open source license terms may be ambiguous, and many of the risks associated with the use of open source software cannot be eliminated. If we were found to have inappropriately used open source software, we may be required to release our proprietary source code, re-engineer our software, discontinue the sale of certain products in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis, or take other remedial action. Furthermore, if we are unable to obtain or maintain licenses from third parties or fail to comply with open source licenses, we may be subject to costly third party claims of intellectual property infringement or ownership of our proprietary source code. There is little legal precedent in this area and any actual or claimed requirement to disclose our proprietary source code or pay damages for breach of contract could harm our business and could help third parties, including our competitors, develop products and services that are similar to or better than ours. Any of the above could harm our business and put us at a competitive disadvantage.
We may not be able to protect and enforce our trademarks and trade names, or build name recognition in our markets of interest thereby harming our competitive position.
The registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names that we own may be challenged, infringed, circumvented, declared generic, lapsed or determined to be infringing on or dilutive of other marks. We may not be able to protect our rights in these trademarks and trade names, which we need in order to build name recognition. In addition, third parties have filed, and may in the future file, for registration of trademarks similar or identical to our trademarks, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. If they succeed in registering or developing common law rights in such trademarks, and if we are not successful in challenging such rights, we may not be able to use these trademarks to develop brand recognition of our technologies, products or services. In addition, there could be potential trade name or trademark infringement claims brought by owners of other registered trademarks or trademarks that incorporate variations of our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names. If third parties succeed they succeed in registering such trademarks in the U.S. or other countries, and if we are not successful in challenging such third party rights, we may not be able to use these trademarks to market our products and technologies such countries. If we do not secure registrations for our trademarks, we may encounter more difficulty in enforcing them against third parties than we otherwise would. If we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, we may not be able to
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compete effectively, which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. And, over the long-term, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks, then our marketing abilities may be materially adversely impacted.
Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various required procedures, document submissions, fee payments and other requirements imposed by governmental patent agencies, and our patent protection could be reduced or eliminated for non-compliance with these requirements.
Periodic maintenance fees, renewal fees, annuity fees and various other governmental fees on patents and/or applications will be due to be paid to the USPTO and various governmental patent agencies outside of the United States at several stages over the lifetime of the patents and/or applications. We have systems in place to remind us to pay these fees, and we engage an outside service and rely on our outside counsel to pay these fees due to non-U.S. patent agencies. The USPTO and various non-U.S. governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other similar provisions during the patent application process. We employ reputable law firms and other professionals to help us comply, and in many cases, an inadvertent lapse can be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules. However, there are situations in which non-compliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, our competitors may be able to enter the market without infringing our patents and this circumstance would have a material adverse effect on our business.
Patent terms may be inadequate to protect our competitive position on our products for an adequate amount of time.
Patents have a limited lifespan. In the United States, if all maintenance fees are timely paid, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years from its earliest U.S. non-provisional filing date. Various extensions may be available, but the life of a patent, and the protection it affords, is limited. Even if patents covering our products are obtained, once the patent life has expired, we may be open to competition from competitive products. If one of our products requires extended development, testing and/or regulatory review, patents protecting such products might expire before or shortly after such products are commercialized. As a result, our owned and licensed patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to ours.
Risks related to Legal Proceedings and Regulations
Changes in current laws or regulations or the imposition of new laws or regulations, or new interpretations thereof, in the solar energy sector or international trade, by federal or state agencies in the United States or foreign jurisdictions could impair our ability to compete, and could materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
There has been and will continue to be regulatory uncertainty in the clean energy sector generally and the solar energy sector in particular. Changes in current laws or regulations, or the imposition of new laws and regulations around the world, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, changes in our products or further changes in tariffs, export and import laws and implementing regulations may create delays in the introduction of new products in international markets, prevent our customers from deploying our products internationally or, in some cases, prevent the export or import of our products to certain countries altogether.
For example, several states or territories, including California, Hawaii and Queensland, Australia, have either implemented or are considering implementing new restrictions on incentives or rules regulating the installation of solar power systems with which we may not be able to comply. In the event that we cannot comply with these or other new regulations or implement a solution to such noncompliance as they arise, the total market available for our microinverter products in such states, and our business as a result, may be adversely impacted.
While we are not aware of any other current or proposed export or import regulations that would materially restrict our ability to sell our products in countries where we offer our products for sale, any change in export or import regulations or related legislation, shift in approach to the enforcement or scope of existing regulations, or change in the countries, persons or technologies targeted by these regulations, could result in decreased use of our products by, or in our decreased ability to export or sell our products to, existing or potential customers with international operations. In such event, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected.
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Additionally, if the U.S. takes action to eliminate or reduce laws, regulations and incentives supporting solar energy, such actions may result in a decrease in demand for solar energy in the U.S. and other geographical markets, it would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Changes in the U.S. trade environment, including the recent imposition of import tariffs, could adversely affect the amount or timing of our revenues, results of operations or cash flows.
Escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China have led to increased tariffs and trade restrictions, including tariffs applicable to certain of our products. For example, on September 24, 2018, the U.S. began assessing 10% tariffs on certain solar products manufactured in China including our microinverter products and related accessories which are manufactured in China. These tariffs increased to 25% in May 2019, and on January 15, 2020, the United States and China entered into an initial trade deal which preserves the bulk of the tariffs imposed in 2018 and maintains a threat of additional sanctions should China breach the terms of the deal.
However, on March 26, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced certain exclusion requests related to tariffs on Chinese imported microinverter products that fit the dimensions and weight limits within a Section 301 Tariff exclusion (the “Tariff Exclusion”). The Tariff Exclusion applied to covered products exported from China to the United States from September 24, 2018 until August 7, 2020. Accordingly, we sought refunds totaling approximately $38.9 million plus approximately $0.6 million accrued interest on tariffs previously paid from September 24, 2018 to March 31, 2020 for certain microinverters that qualify for the Tariff Exclusion. As of December 31, 2020, we have received $24.8 million of tariff refunds and accrued for the remaining $14.7 million tariff refunds that were approved, however, not yet received on or before December 31, 2020. For the year ended December 31, 2020, we recorded $38.9 million as a reduction to cost of revenues in our consolidated statements of operations as the approved refunds relate to paid tariffs previously recorded to cost of revenues. Therefore, we recorded the corresponding approved tariff refunds as credits to cost of revenues in the current period. For the year ended December 31, 2020, we recorded the $0.6 million accrued interest as interest income in our consolidated statement of operations. The tariff refund receivable of $14.7 million is recorded as a reduction of accounts payable to Flex Ltd. and affiliates, our manufacturing partner and the importer of record who will first receive the tariff refunds, on the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020. This exemption has expired in August 2020, and our request to extend it has been denied. Unless U.S. policy changes, or we are eligible for other exemptions or take other actions to avoid them, such tariffs will continue to apply to our microinverters and other products. Such tariffs could hurt the demand for these products and materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. There is no guarantee that we will be successful in obtaining exemptions or that any actions that we may pursue with respect to the organization and operation of our business will effectively mitigate the effects of any tariffs that apply to our business. If we are not able to avoid or mitigate the effects of such tariffs, the tariffs (or mitigating actions we might take) could result in material additional costs to us and our suppliers, and our results of operations could be negatively impacted as a result.
It is unknown whether and to what extent additional new tariffs or other new laws or regulations will be adopted that increase the cost of manufacturing in China and/or importing components from China to the United States. Further, it is unknown what effect that any such new tariffs or retaliatory actions would have on us or our industry and customers. Our LFP lithium-ion phosphate battery cells for our storage products are supplied solely via our two suppliers in China. Although we are in the process of searching for other suppliers outside of China for future supplies, the expertise and industry for the LFP lithium-ion phosphate battery cell is primarily in China and we cannot be certain that we will locate additional qualified suppliers with the right expertise to develop our battery cells outside of China, if at all.
In response to the tensions in US-China trade relations and increased tariffs, we focused efforts and resources on attaining manufacturers outside of China, primarily in Mexico and India. The tariffs and the possibility of additional tariffs in the future have created uncertainty in the industry. If the price of solar power systems in the United States increases, the use of solar power systems could become less economically feasible and could reduce our gross margins or reduce the demand of solar power systems manufactured and sold, which in turn may decrease demand for our products. Additionally, existing or future tariffs may negatively affect key partners, suppliers, and manufacturers. Such outcomes could adversely affect the amount or timing of our revenues, results of operations or cash flows, and continuing uncertainty could cause sales volatility, price fluctuations or supply shortages or cause our customers to advance or delay their purchase of our products. It is difficult to predict what further trade-related actions governments may take, which may include additional or increased tariffs and trade restrictions, and we may be unable to quickly and effectively react to such actions. As additional new tariffs, legislation and/or regulations are implemented, or if existing trade agreements are renegotiated or if China or other
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affected countries take retaliatory trade actions, such changes could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Our significant international operations subject us to additional risks that could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We have significant international operations, including in emerging markets such as India, and we are continuing to expand our international operations as part of our growth strategy. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 41% of our total employees were located in India, where we primarily conduct our research and development activities, procurement, customer support services, and other general and administrative support functions. Our current international operations and our plans to expand our international operations have placed, and will continue to place, a strain on our employees, management systems and other resources.
Our international operations may fail to succeed due to risks inherent in operating businesses internationally, such as:
our lack of familiarity with commercial and social norms and customs in countries which may adversely affect our ability to recruit, retain and manage employees in these countries;
difficulties and costs associated with staffing and managing foreign operations;
the potential diversion of management’s attention to oversee and direct operations that are geographically distant from our U.S. headquarters;
compliance with multiple, conflicting and changing governmental laws and regulations, including employment, tax, privacy and data protection laws and regulations;
legal systems in which our ability to enforce and protect our rights may be different or less effective than in the United States and in which the ultimate result of dispute resolution is more difficult to predict;
higher employee costs and difficulty in terminating non-performing employees;
differences in workplace cultures;
unexpected changes in regulatory requirements;
tariffs, export controls and other non-tariff barriers such as quotas and local content rules;
more limited protection for intellectual property rights in some countries;
adverse tax consequences, including as a result of transfer pricing adjustments involving our foreign operations;
fluctuations in currency exchange rates;
anti-bribery compliance by us or our partners;
restrictions on the transfer of funds;
global epidemics, pandemics, or contagious diseases; and
new and different sources of competition.
Our failure to manage any of these risks successfully could harm our existing and future international operations and seriously impair our overall business.
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We could be adversely affected by any violations of the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act, and other foreign anti-bribery laws.
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) generally prohibits companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Other countries in which we operate also have anti-bribery laws, some of which prohibit improper payments to government and non-government persons and entities, and others (e.g., the FCPA and the U.K. Bribery Act) extend their application to activities outside of their country of origin. Our policies mandate compliance with all applicable anti-bribery laws. We currently operate in, and may further expand into, key parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. In addition, due to the level of regulation in our industry, our entry into new jurisdictions through internal growth or acquisitions requires substantial government contact where norms can differ from U.S. standards. Although, we implement policies and procedures and conduct training designed to facilitate compliance with these anti-bribery laws, thereby mitigating the risk of violations of such laws, our employees, subcontractors, agents and partners may take actions in violation of our policies and anti-bribery laws. Any such violation, even if prohibited by our policies, could subject us to criminal or civil penalties or other sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows, and reputation.
From time to time we are involved in a number of legal proceedings and, while we cannot predict the outcomes of such proceedings and other contingencies with certainty, some of these outcomes could adversely affect our business and financial condition.
We are, or may become, involved in legal proceedings, government and agency investigations, and consumer, employment, tort and other litigation. We cannot predict with certainty the outcomes of these legal proceedings (see discussion of “Legal Proceedings” in Item 3 Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K). The outcome of some of these legal proceeding could require us to take, or refrain from taking, actions which could negatively affect our operations or could require us to pay substantial amounts of money adversely affecting our financial condition and results of operations. There can also be no assurance that we are adequately insured to protect against all claims and potential liabilities. Additionally, defending against lawsuits and legal proceedings may involve significant expense and could divert the attention of our key personnel.
Risks Related to Our Financial Condition and Liquidity
The reduction, elimination or expiration of government subsidies and economic incentives for on-grid solar electricity applications could reduce demand for solar PV systems and harm our business.
The market for on-grid applications, where solar power is used to supplement a customer’s electricity purchased from the utility network or sold to a utility under tariff, depends in large part on the availability and size of government and economic incentives that vary by geographic market. Because our customers’ sales are typically into the on-grid market, the reduction, elimination or expiration of government subsidies and economic incentives for on-grid solar electricity may negatively affect the competitiveness of solar electricity relative to conventional and non-solar renewable sources of electricity and could harm or halt the growth of the solar electricity industry and our business.
In general, the cost of solar power currently exceeds retail electricity rates, and we believe this tendency will continue in the near term. As a result, national, state and local government bodies in many countries, including the U.S., have provided incentives in the form of feed-in tariffs (“FiTs”), rebates, tax credits and other incentives to system owners, distributors, system integrators and manufacturers of solar PV systems to promote the use of solar electricity in on-grid applications and to reduce dependency on other forms of energy. Many of these government incentives expire, phase out over time, terminate upon the exhaustion of the allocated funding, require renewal by the applicable authority or are being changed by governments due to changing market circumstances or changes to national, state or local energy policy.
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Electric utility companies or generators of electricity from other non-solar renewable sources of electricity may successfully lobby for changes in the relevant legislation in their markets that are harmful to the solar industry. Reductions in, or eliminations or expirations of, governmental incentives in regions where we focus our sales efforts could result in decreased demand for and lower revenue from solar PV systems there, which would adversely affect sales of our products. In addition, our ability to successfully penetrate new geographic markets may depend on new countries adopting and maintaining incentives to promote solar electricity, to the extent such incentives are not currently in place. Furthermore, electric utility companies may establish pricing structures or interconnection requirements that could adversely affect our sales and be harmful to the solar and distributed rooftop solar generation industry.
Our gross profit may fluctuate over time, which could impair our ability to achieve or maintain profitability.
Our gross profit has varied in the past and is likely to continue to vary significantly from period to period. Our gross profit may be adversely affected by numerous factors, some of which are beyond our control, including:
changes in customer, geographic or product mix;
increased price competition, including the impact of customer and competitor discounts and rebates;
our ability to reduce and control product costs, including our ability to make product cost reductions in a timely manner to offset declines in our product prices;
warranty costs and reserves, including changes resulting from changes in estimates related to the long-term performance of our products, product replacement costs and warranty claim rates, as well as changes in the discount rates;
loss of cost savings due to changes in component or raw material pricing or charges incurred due to inventory holding periods if product demand is not correctly anticipated;
introduction of new products;
ordering patterns from our distributors;
price reductions on older products to sell remaining inventory;
component shortages and related expedited shipping costs;
our ability to reduce production costs, such as through technology innovations, in order to offset price declines in our products over time;
changes in shipment volume;
changes in distribution channels;
excess and obsolete inventory and inventory holding charges;
expediting costs incurred to meet customer delivery requirements;
tariffs assessed on our products imported to the U.S. and elsewhere; and
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates.
Fluctuations in gross profit may adversely affect our ability to manage our business or achieve or maintain profitability.
We are under continuous pressure to reduce the prices of our products, which has adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect, our gross margins.
The solar power industry has been characterized by declining product prices over time. We have reduced the prices of our products in the past, and we expect to continue to experience pricing pressure for our products in the future, including from our major customers. In addition, we have reduced our prices ahead of planned cost reductions of our products, which has adversely affected our gross margins. When seeking to maintain or increase their market share, our competitors may also reduce the prices of their products. In addition, our customers may have the ability or seek to internally develop and manufacture competing products at a lower cost than we would otherwise charge, which would add additional pressure on us to lower our selling prices. If we are unable to offset any future reductions in our average selling prices by increasing our sales volume, reducing our costs and expenses or introducing new products, our gross margins would continue to be adversely affected.
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Given the general downward pressure on prices for our products driven by competitive pressure and technological change, a principal component of our business strategy is reducing the costs to manufacture our products to remain competitive. If our competitors are able to drive down their manufacturing costs faster than we can or increase the efficiency of their products, our products may become less competitive even when adjusted for efficiency, and we may be forced to sell our products at a price lower than our cost. Further, if raw materials costs and other third-party component costs were to increase, we may not meet our cost reduction targets. If we cannot effectively execute our cost reduction roadmap, we may not be able to remain price competitive, which would result in lost market share and lower gross margins.
A drop in the retail price of electricity derived from the utility grid or from alternative energy sources, or a change in utility pricing structures, may harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We believe that a system owner’s decision to purchase a solar PV system is strongly influenced by the cost of electricity generated by solar PV installations relative to the retail price of electricity from the utility grid and the cost of other renewable energy sources, including electricity from solar PV installations using central inverters. Decreases in the retail prices of electricity from the utility grid would make it more difficult for all solar PV systems to compete. In particular, growth in unconventional natural gas production and an increase in global liquefied natural gas capacity are expected to keep natural gas prices relatively low for the foreseeable future. Persistent low natural gas prices, lower prices of electricity produced from other energy sources, such as nuclear power or coal-fired plants, or improvements to the utility infrastructure could reduce the retail price of electricity from the utility grid, making the purchase of solar PV systems less economically attractive and depressing sales of our products. In addition, energy conservation technologies and public initiatives to reduce demand for electricity also could cause a fall in the retail price of electricity from the utility grid. Moreover, technological developments by our competitors in the solar industry, including manufacturers of central inverters and DC-to-DC optimizers, could allow these competitors or their partners to offer electricity at costs lower than those that can be achieved from solar PV installations based on our product platform, which could result in reduced demand for our products. Additionally, as increasing adoption of distributed generation places pressure on traditional utility business models or utility infrastructure, utilities may change their pricing structures to increase the cost of installation or operation of solar distributed generation. Such measures can include grid access fees, costly or lengthy interconnection studies, limitations on distributed generation penetration levels, or other measures. If the cost of electricity generated by solar PV installations incorporating our solutions is high relative to the cost of electricity from other sources, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be harmed.
If we do not forecast demand for our products accurately, we may experience product shortages, delays in product shipment, excess product inventory, difficulties in planning expenses or disputes with suppliers, any of which will adversely affect our business and financial condition.
We manufacture our products according to our estimates of customer demand. This process requires us to make multiple forecasts and assumptions relating to the demand of our distributors, their end customers and general market conditions. Because we sell most of our products to distributors, who in turn sell to their end customers, we have limited visibility as to end-customer demand. We depend significantly on our distributors to provide us visibility into their end-customer demand, and we use these forecasts to make our own forecasts and planning decisions. If the information from our distributors turns out to be incorrect, then our own forecasts may also be inaccurate. Furthermore, we do not have long-term purchase commitments from our distributors or end customers, and our sales are generally made by purchase orders that may be canceled, changed or deferred without notice to us or penalty. As a result, it is difficult to forecast future customer demand to plan our operations.
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If we overestimate demand for our products, or if purchase orders are canceled or shipments are delayed, we may have excess inventory that we cannot sell. We may have to make significant provisions for inventory write-downs based on events that are currently not known, and such provisions or any adjustments to such provisions could be material. We may also become involved in disputes with our suppliers who may claim that we failed to fulfill forecast or minimum purchase requirements. Conversely, if we underestimate demand, we may not have sufficient inventory to meet end-customer demand, and we may lose market share, damage relationships with our distributors and end customers and forgo potential revenue opportunities. Obtaining additional supply in the face of product shortages may be costly or impossible, particularly in the short term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of our outsourced manufacturing processes, which could prevent us from fulfilling orders in a timely and cost-efficient manner or at all. In addition, if we overestimate our production requirements, our contract manufacturers may purchase excess components and build excess inventory. If our contract manufacturers, at our request, purchase excess components that are unique to our products and are unable to recoup the costs of such excess through resale or return or build excess products, we could be required to pay for these excess parts or products and recognize related inventory write-downs.
In addition, we plan our operating expenses, including research and development expenses, hiring needs and inventory investments, in part on our estimates of customer demand and future revenue. If customer demand or revenue for a particular period is lower than we expect, we may not be able to proportionately reduce our fixed operating expenses for that period, which would harm our operating results for that period.
Our focus on a limited number of specific markets increases risks associated with the modification, elimination or expiration of governmental subsidies and economic incentives for on-grid solar electricity applications.
To date, we have generated the majority of our revenues from North America, and a substantial majority of our revenues come from the U.S., and revenues generated from the U.S. market have represented 82%, 84% and 69% of our total revenue for annual period ending on December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. We also expect to continue to generate a substantial amount of our revenues from North America in the future.
There are a number of important incentives (including U.S. federal and state tax incentives) that are expected to phase-out or terminate in the future, which could adversely affect sales of our products in North America and other markets. For instance, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 provided a 30% federal tax credit for residential and commercial solar installations through December 31, 2019, which was reduced to a tax credit of 26% for any solar energy system that began construction during 2020 through December 31, 2022, and 22% thereafter to December 31, 2023 before being reduced to 10% for commercial installations and 0% for residential installations beginning on January 1, 2024. As a result, several of our customers explored opportunities to purchase products in 2019 to take advantage of safe harbor guidance from the IRS published in June 2018, allowing them to preserve the historical 30% investment tax credit for solar equipment purchased in 2019 for solar projects that are completed after December 31, 2019. These tax credits could be reduced or eliminated as part of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), changes or regulatory reform initiatives by the current Congress or the new presidential administration.
In addition, net energy metering tariffs are being evaluated and, in some instances modified, which may have a negative impact on future inverter sales. We derive a significant portion of our revenues from California’s residential solar market and the existing California net energy metering tariff has been very successful in incentivizing the installation of residential solar power systems. Future legislative or regulatory changes in California may discourage further growth in the residential solar market.
A number of European countries, including Germany, Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom have adopted reductions in or concluded their net energy metering or FiT programs. Certain countries have proposed or enacted taxes levied on renewable energy. These and related developments have significantly impacted the solar industry in Europe and may adversely affect the future demand for the solar energy solutions in Europe.
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We also sell our products in Australia. In 2012 Australia enacted a Renewable Energy Target that is intended to ensure that 33,000 Gigawatt-hours of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. This policy supports both the installation of large-scale centralized renewable generation projects, along with small-scale systems of under 100kW each for residential and small business customers. This target was met in 2019; however, the scheme continues to require high-energy users to meet their obligations under the policy until 2030. During 2018, the states of Victoria and South Australia introduced state-based incentive schemes, aimed at solar customers in the state of Victoria and battery storage in the state of South Australia. Other Australian states and territories introduced similar programs in 2019. Any change in, or failure to implement, these programs may adversely affect the demand for solar energy solutions in Australia.
U.S. federal and state tax credits, grants and other incentive programs have had a positive effect on our sales since inception. However, unless these programs are further extended or modified to allow for continued growth in the residential solar market, the phase-out of such programs could adversely affect sales of our products in the future. Reductions in incentives and uncertainty around future energy policy, including local content requirements, have negatively affected and may continue to negatively affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations as we seek to increase our business domestically and abroad. Additionally, as we further expand to other countries, changes in incentive programs or electricity policies could negatively affect returns on our investments in those countries as well as our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Although we had net income in the past two years, we cannot be certain that we will sustain profitability.
We had net income of $134.0 million and $161.1 million in the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 where we incurred a net loss of $11.6 million. We incurred substantial net losses from our inception through the year ended December 31, 2018, and we may not be able to sustain profitability and may incur additional losses in the future. At December 31, 2020, we had an accumulated deficit of $51.2 million. Our revenue growth may slow or revenue may decline for a number of reasons, many of which are outside our control, including a decline in demand for our offerings, increased competition, a decrease in the growth of the solar industry or our market share, future declines in average selling prices of our products, the impact of U.S. trade tariffs, the imposition of additional tariffs applicable to our industry or our products, or our failure to capitalize on growth opportunities. If we fail to generate sufficient revenue to support our operations, we may not be able to sustain profitability.
Risks Related to our Acquisition Activity
The failure to successfully develop new generation products that are compatible with those of SunPower could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our failure to continue to successfully integrate our microinverter products and software with SunPower’s solar modules could negatively impact our revenue projections, impair goodwill, intangible assets recognized, and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As of December 31, 2020, we have $28.5 million of finite-lived intangible assets, net for developed technology and customer relationship and $21.1 million of goodwill acquired from SunPower pursuant to the Asset Purchase Agreement transaction with SunPower in August 2018 (the “SunPower APA”). We make assumptions and estimates in this assessment which are complex and often subjective. Our judgement and estimates can be affected by a variety of factors, including external factors such as industry and economic trends, and internal factors such as changes in our business strategy or our internal forecasts. To the extent that the factors described above change, we could be required to record additional non-cash impairment charges in the future, which could negatively affect our results of operations.
We may fail to realize some or all of the anticipated benefits of the SunPower transaction which may result in conflicts between us and SunPower.
Our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the SunPower transaction will depend, to a large extent, on our ability to successfully execute the terms of the SunPower Master Supply Agreement (“MSA”), which is a complex and time-consuming process. Any delay, failure or breach of obligations under the MSA could adversely impact the expected benefits of the transaction and could otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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Additionally, in connection with the SunPower APA transaction, SunPower acquired 7.5 million shares of our common stock and has the right to designate one member of our board of directors. Through its share ownership and board seat, SunPower may have the ability to directly or indirectly influence our business, and conflicts may arise between us and SunPower regarding corporate priorities and strategic objectives. As of December 31, 2020, SunPower held 3.5 million shares of our common stock.
As part of growing our business, we have made and expect to continue to make acquisitions. If we fail to successfully select, execute or integrate our acquisitions, then our business and operating results could be harmed and our stock price could decline.
From time to time, we will undertake acquisitions to add new product lines and technologies, gain new sales channels or enter into new sales territories. For example, in January 2021, we acquired Sofdesk Inc., a cloud-based solar energy software company, to extend our solar offering through digital transformation, and on February 8, 2021 we announced our pending acquisition of the solar design services business of DIN Engineering Services LLP. Acquisitions involve numerous risks and challenges, including but not limited to the following:
integrating the companies, assets, systems, products, sales channels and personnel that we acquire;
higher than anticipated acquisition and integration costs and expenses;
reliance on third parties to provide transition services for a period of time after closing to ensure an orderly transition of the business;
growing or maintaining revenues to justify the purchase price and the increased expenses associated with acquisitions;
entering into territories or markets with which we have limited or no prior experience;
establishing or maintaining business relationships with customers, vendors and suppliers who may be new to us;
overcoming the employee, customer, vendor and supplier turnover that may occur as a result of the acquisition;
disruption of, and demands on, our ongoing business as a result of integration activities including diversion of management's time and attention from running the day to day operations of our business;
inability to implement uniform standards, disclosure controls and procedures, internal controls over financial reporting and other procedures and policies in a timely manner;
inability to realize the anticipated benefits of or successfully integrate with our existing business the businesses, products, technologies or personnel that we acquire; and
potential post-closing disputes.
As part of undertaking an acquisition, we may also significantly revise our capital structure or operational budget, such as issuing common stock that would dilute the ownership percentage of our stockholders, assuming liabilities or debt, utilizing a substantial portion of our cash resources to pay for the acquisition or significantly increasing operating expenses. Our acquisitions have resulted and may in the future result in charges being taken in an individual quarter as well as future periods, which results in variability in our quarterly earnings. In addition, our effective tax rate in any particular quarter may also be impacted by acquisitions. Following the closing of an acquisition, we may also have disputes with the seller regarding contractual requirements and covenants, purchase price adjustments, contingent payments or for indemnifiable losses. Any such disputes may be time consuming and distract management from other aspects of our business. In addition, if we increase the pace or size of acquisitions, we will have to expend significant management time and effort into the transactions and integrations, and we may not have the proper human resources bandwidth to ensure successful integrations and accordingly, our business could be harmed or the benefits of our acquisitions may not be realized.
As part of the terms of an acquisition, we may commit to pay additional contingent consideration if certain revenue or other performance milestones are met. We are required to evaluate the fair value of such commitments at each reporting date and adjust the amount recorded if there are changes to the fair value.
We cannot ensure that we will be successful in selecting, executing and integrating acquisitions. Failure to manage and successfully integrate acquisitions could materially harm our business and operating results. In addition, if stock market analysts or our stockholders do not support or believe in the value of the acquisitions that we choose to undertake, our stock price may decline.
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We invest in companies for both strategic and financial reasons but may not realize a return on our investments
We have made, and continue to seek to make, investments in companies around the world to further our strategic objectives and support our key business initiatives. These investments may include equity or debt instruments of public or private companies and may be non-marketable at the time of our initial investment. We do not restrict the types of companies in which we seek to invest. These companies may range from early-stage companies that are often still defining their strategic direction to more mature companies with established revenue streams and business models. If any company in which we invest fails, we could lose all or part of our investment in that company. If we determine that an other-than-temporary decline in the fair value exists for an equity or debt investment in a public or private company in which we have invested, we will have to write down the investment to its fair value and recognize the related write-down as an investment loss. The performance of any of these investments could result in significant impairment charges and gains (losses) on other equity investments. We must also analyze accounting and legal issues when making these investments. If we do not structure these investments properly, we may be subject to certain unfavorable accounting impact, such as potential consolidation of financial results.
Furthermore, if the strategic objectives of an investment have been achieved, or if the investment or business diverges from our strategic objectives, we may seek to dispose of the investment. Our non-marketable equity investments in private companies are not liquid, and we may not be able to dispose of these investments on favorable terms or at all. The occurrence of any of these events could harm our results. Gains or losses from equity securities could vary from expectations depending on gains or losses realized on the sale or exchange of securities and impairment charges related to debt instruments as well as equity and other investments.
Risks Related to our Debt and Equity Securities
Conversion of our Convertible Notes may dilute the ownership interest of existing stockholders or may otherwise depress the price of our common stock, adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
In March 2020, we issued and sold a total of $320.0 million aggregate principal amount of our Notes due 2025 (the “Notes due 2025”).
In June 2019, we issued and sold a total of $132.0 million aggregate principal amount of our convertible senior notes due 2024 (the “Notes due 2024”).
In August 2018, we issued and sold a total of $65.0 million aggregate principal amount of our convertible senior notes due 2023 (the “Notes due 2023”) in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers and an affiliate of ours. In May 2019, we entered into separately and privately negotiated transactions with certain holders of the Notes due 2023 resulting in the repurchase and exchange of $60.0 million aggregate principal amount of the notes in consideration for the issuance of shares of common stock and separate cash payments.
The Conversion Condition for the Notes due 2024 was met for all quarters ended March 31, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Therefore, our Notes due 2024 became convertible at the holders’ option beginning on April 1, 2020 and continue to be convertible through March 31, 2021. Accordingly, we classified the net carrying amount of the Notes due 2024 of $69.0 million as debt, current on the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020. From January 1, 2021 through February 12, 2021, we have received the request for conversion of approximately $61.5 million in principal amount of our Notes due 2024, of which we have elected to settle the aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 in a combination of cash and any excess in shares of our common stock in accordance with the applicable indenture. Such conversion will be settled in March 2021. We may purchase shares under the convertible note hedge to the extent shares of our common stock are issued for the additional conversion amount due over the principal amount. From January 1, 2021 through February 12, 2021, we had not purchased any shares under the convertible note hedge and the warrants had not been exercised and remain outstanding. If we receive additional requests for conversion from the holders of the Notes due 2024 to exercise their right to convert the debt to equity, we have asserted our intent and ability to settle the remaining $26.6 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 in cash.
The Conversion Condition for the Notes due 2025 was met during the quarter ended December 31, 2020. Therefore, our Notes due 2025 became convertible at the holders’ option beginning on January 1, 2021 and continue to be convertible through March 31, 2021. Accordingly, we have classified the net carrying amount of the Notes due 2025 of $255.0 million as debt, current on the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020.
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During the fourth quarter of 2020, holders converted $43.9 million in aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024, the principal amount of which was repaid in cash. Of the $43.9 million in aggregate principal amount, $38.5 million in aggregate principal amount was settled pursuant to an exchange agreement entered into in December 2020 with certain holders of Notes due 2024. In connection with the exchange agreement, we entered into partial unwind agreements to unwind a number of warrants exercisable under the hedging arrangements previously entered into in connection with the issuances of the Notes due 2024, and we issued approximately 2.1 million warrants on a net basis, resulting in a net issuance of approximately 1.9 million shares of our common stock to the holders with an aggregate fair value of $301.0 million, representing the conversion value in excess of the principal amount of the Notes due 2024, which were fully offset by shares received from our exercise of the associated note hedging arrangements discussed below. As of December 31, 2020, warrants exercisable to purchase a total of approximately 4.3 million shares remain outstanding. The total amount of $43.9 million paid to partially settle the Notes due 2024 was allocated between the liability and equity components of the amount extinguished by determining the fair value of the liability component immediately prior to the notes settlement and allocating that portion of the conversion price to the liability component in the amount of $37.2 million. The residual of the conversion price of $6.7 million was allocated to the equity component of the Notes due 2024 as a reduction of additional paid-in capital. The fair value of the notes settlement was calculated using a discount rate of 5.75%, representing an estimate of our borrowing rate at the date of repurchase with a remaining expected life of approximately 3.6 years. As part of the settlement, we wrote-off the $8.9 million unamortized debt discount and $0.8 million debt issuance cost apportioned to the principal amount of Notes due 2024 settled. We also recorded a loss on partial settlement of the Notes due 2024 of $3.0 million in other expense, net, representing the difference between the consideration attributed to the liability component and the sum of the net carrying amount of the liability component and unamortized debt issuance costs. As of December 31, 2020, $88.1 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 remains outstanding.
We may receive additional conversion requests that require settlement in the first quarter of 2021. If more holders elect to convert their Notes due 2024 and Notes due 2025 in future periods, we intend to settle all or a portion of our conversion obligation related to the aggregate principal amount in cash, which could adversely affect our liquidity and result in a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, to the extent we receive conversion requests, we may also record a loss on early conversions of the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2025 converted by note holders based on the difference between the fair market value allocated to the liability component on the settlement date and the net carrying amount of the liability component and unamortized debt issuance on the settlement date.
As of December 31, 2020,
$320.0 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2025 were outstanding; (the foregoing, collectively, the “Convertible Notes”);
$88.1 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 were outstanding; and
$5.0 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2023 were outstanding; (the foregoing, collectively, the “Convertible Notes”).
The conversion of some or all of the Convertible Notes may dilute the ownership interests of existing stockholders. Any sales in the public market of the common stock issuable upon such conversion could adversely affect prevailing market prices of our common stock. In addition, the existence of the Convertible Notes may encourage short selling by market participants because the conversion of the Convertible Notes could be used to satisfy short positions. In addition, the anticipated conversion of the Convertible Notes into shares of our common stock could depress the price of our common stock.
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Servicing our debts requires a significant amount of cash, and we may not have sufficient cash flow from our business to pay our debts.
Our ability to make scheduled payments of the principal of, to pay interest on or to refinance our indebtedness, including the Convertible Notes, depends on our future performance, which is subject to economic, financial, competitive and other factors beyond our control. Our business may not continue to generate cash flow from operations in the future sufficient to service our debts, including the Convertible Notes, and make necessary capital expenditures. If we are unable to generate cash flow, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as selling assets, restructuring debt or obtaining additional equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. Our ability to refinance our indebtedness, including the Convertible Notes, will depend on the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. We may not be able to engage in any of those activities or engage in these activities on desirable terms, which could result in a default on our debt obligations, including our obligations under the Convertible Notes.
We may not have the ability to raise the funds necessary to settle conversions of the Convertible Notes or repurchase the Convertible Note upon a fundamental change, and our future debt may contain limitations on our ability to pay cash upon conversion or repurchase of the Convertible Notes.
Holders of our Convertible Notes will have the right to require us to repurchase their Convertible Notes upon the occurrence of a fundamental change at a fundamental change repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the Convertible Notes to be repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any. Fundamental change is defined in the Convertible Notes Indenture entered into in connection with the financing and consists of events such as an acquisition of a majority of our outstanding common stock, an acquisition of our company or substantially all of our assets, the approval by our stockholders of a plan of liquidation or dissolution, or our common stock no longer being listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market or the Nasdaq Global Market. Upon conversion of the Convertible Notes, unless we elect to deliver solely shares of our common stock to settle such conversion (other than paying cash in lieu of delivering any fractional share), we will be required to make cash payments in respect of the Convertible Notes being converted. However, we may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to make such repurchase of the Convertible Notes. In addition, our ability to repurchase the Convertible Notes or to pay cash upon conversion of the Convertible Notes may be limited by law, by regulatory authority or by agreements governing our future indebtedness. Our failure to repurchase notes at a time when the repurchase is required by the relevant indenture or to pay any cash payable on future conversions of the notes as required by the relevant indenture would constitute a default under the relevant indenture. A default under the indenture or a fundamental change itself could also lead to a default under agreements governing our future indebtedness. If the repayment of the related indebtedness were to be accelerated after any applicable notice or grace periods, we may not have sufficient funds to repay the indebtedness and repurchase the Convertible Notes or make cash payments upon conversion of the Convertible Notes.
The convertible note hedge and warrant transactions and/or their early termination may affect the value of our common stock.
In connection with the offering of the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024, we entered into privately negotiated convertible note hedge transactions pursuant to which we have the option to purchase approximately the same number of shares of our common stock initially issuable upon conversion of the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024, at a price approximately the same as the initial conversion price of the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024. These transactions are expected to reduce the potential dilution with respect to our common stock upon conversion of the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024. Separately, we also entered into privately negotiated warrant transactions to acquire the same number of shares of our common stock initially issuable upon conversion of the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024 (subject to customary anti-dilution adjustments) at an initial strike price of approximately $81.54 per share and $25.23 per share for Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024, respectively. If the market value per share of our common stock, as measured under the warrants, exceeds the strike price of the warrants, the warrants will have a dilutive effect on the ownership interests of existing stockholders and on our earnings per share, unless we elect, subject to certain conditions, to settle the warrants in cash. However, we may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time of settlement.
In addition, the existence of the convertible note hedge and warrant transactions may encourage purchasing and selling share of our common stock, or other of our securities and instruments, in open market and/or privately negotiated transactions in order to modify hedge positions. Any of these activities could adversely affect the value of our common stock and the value of the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024.
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Changes in current accounting methods, standards, or regulations applicable to the Convertible Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024 could have a material impact on our reported financial results, future financial results, future cash flows, and/or our stock price.
Under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 470-20, “Debt with Conversion and Other Options,” an entity must separately account for the host contract and conversion option associated with convertible debt instruments, such as the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024, that may be settled entirely or partially in cash upon conversion, in a manner that reflects the issuer’s economic interest cost. For Notes due 2024, conversion option meets the classification of an equity component, hence we have included the equity component in the additional paid-in capital section of stockholders’ equity on our condensed consolidated balance sheet at the issuance date. For Notes due 2025, conversion option met the classification of an embedded derivative liability, from March 9, 2020 to May 19, 2020, and hence we had included embedded derivative liability in the Debt, non-current on our condensed consolidated balance sheet at the issuance date. Effective upon the filing of an amendment to our certificate of incorporation on May 20, 2020, the conversion option of the Notes due 2025 met the classification of an equity component, hence we reclassified the embedded derivative liability in the Debt, non-current to additional paid-in capital section of stockholders’ equity on our condensed consolidated balance sheet on May 20, 2020. This change in fair value of derivatives has resulted in a charge recognized of $44.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. We have treated the value of the equity component and embedded derivative liability as debt discount for the host contract at the issuance date. We are required to amortize the debt discount as non-cash interest expense over the term of the Notes due 2025 and Notes due 2024, which could adversely affect our reported or future financial results or the trading price of our common stock.
In addition, we use the treasury stock method for convertible debt instruments (such as the Notes due 2024 since the date of issuance and Notes due 2025 since May 20, 2020) that may be settled entirely or partly in cash, and the effect of which is that any shares issuable upon conversion of the notes are not included in the calculation of diluted earnings per share except to the extent that the conversion value of such notes exceeds their principal amount. In August 2020, the FASB issued Account Standard Update (“ASU”) 2020-06, “Debt - Debt with Conversion and Other Options (subtopic 470-20),” effective January 1, 2022, which requires a convertible debt instrument to be accounted for as a single liability measured at its amortized cost. Interest expense recorded in the consolidated statements of operations will be close to the coupon rate interest expense. Further, for the diluted earnings per share calculation, treasury stock method will no longer be permitted. The if-converted method will be used for the calculation of the diluted earnings per share calculation, when accounting for the shares issuable upon conversion of the Notes due 2024 and Notes due 2025, which will adversely affect our diluted earnings per share.
ASU 2016-15, “Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments,” clarifies how certain cash receipts and payments should be classified in the statement of cash flows, including the cash settlement for our Notes due 2024 and Notes due 2025. Upon cash settlement, repayment of the principal amount will be bifurcated between cash outflows for operating activities for the portion related to accreted interest attributable to debt discounts arising from the difference between the coupon interest rate and the effective interest rate, and financing activities for the remainder. This will require us to classify the debt discount totaling $36.4 million for Notes due 2024 and $68.7 million for Notes due 2025 of accreted interest as cash used in operating activities in our consolidated statement of cash flows upon cash settlement, if and when such cash settlement occurs prior to the adoption of ASU 2020-06 discussed above, which could adversely affect our future cash flow from operations. In our consolidated statement of cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2020, $3.1 million of the debt discount associated with the conversion of $43.9 million in aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 was classified as cash used in operating activities.
The market price of our common stock may be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance.
The market price of our common stock has been and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to, among other things, the other risk factors described herein, and other factors beyond our control, such as quarterly variations in operating results, announcements of technology innovations or new products by us or our competitors, changes in financial estimates and recommendations by securities analysts, the operating and stock price performance of other companies that investors may deem comparable to us, and new reports relating to trends in our markets or general economic conditions. These fluctuations often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations, as well as general economic, political and market conditions, such as recessions, interest rate changes or international currency fluctuations, may negatively affect the market price of our common stock, regardless of our operating performance.
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In addition, in the past, many companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been subject to securities class action litigation. We may become the target of this type of litigation in the future. Securities litigation against us could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention from other business concerns, which could seriously harm our business.
Our financial results may vary significantly from quarter to quarter due to a number of factors, which may lead to volatility in our stock price.
Our quarterly revenue and results of operations have varied in the past and may continue to vary significantly from quarter to quarter. As a result, the trading price of our common stock has been, and is likely to continue to be, volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. In addition, the trading prices of the securities of solar companies in general have been highly volatile, and the volatility in market price and trading volume of securities is often unrelated or disproportionate to the financial performance of the companies issuing the securities. Factors affecting the market price of our common stock, some of which are beyond our control, include:
seasonal and other fluctuations in demand for our products;
the timing, volume and product mix of sales of our products, which may have different average selling prices or profit margins;
changes in our pricing and sales policies or the pricing and sales policies of our competitors;
the impacts and the evolving effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business, sales and results of operations;
our ability to design, manufacture and deliver products to our customers in a timely and cost-effective manner and that meet customer requirements;
our ability to manage our relationships with our contract manufacturers, customers and suppliers;
quality control or yield problems in our manufacturing operations;
the anticipation, announcement or introductions of new or enhanced products by our competitors and ourselves;
reductions in the retail price of electricity;
changes in laws, regulations and policies applicable to our business and products, particularly those relating to government incentives for solar energy applications;
the impact of tariffs on the solar industry in general and our products in particular;
unanticipated increases in costs or expenses;
the amount and timing of operating costs and capital expenditures related to the maintenance and expansion of our business operations;
the impact of government-sponsored programs on our customers;
our exposure to the credit risks of our customers, particularly in light of the fact that some of our customers are relatively new entrants to the solar market without long operating or credit histories and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic they may experience;
our ability to estimate future warranty obligations due to product failure rates, claim rates or replacement costs;
our ability to forecast our customer demand and manufacturing requirements, and manage our inventory;
fluctuations in our gross profit;
our ability to predict our revenue and plan our expenses appropriately;
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
announcement of acquisitions or dispositions of our assets or business operations;
issuances of our common stock or equity-linked securities such as the Convertible Notes;
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changes in our management;
technical factors in the public trading market for our common stock that may produce price movements that may or may not comport to macro, industry or company-specific fundamentals, including, without limitation, the sentiment of retail investors (including as may be expressed on financial trading and other social media sites), the amount and status of short interest in our securities, access to margin debt, trading in options and other derivatives on our common stock and any related hedging or other technical trading factors;
general economic conditions and changes in such conditions specific to our target markets; and
actions by research analysts, such as if they issue unfavorable commentary or downgrade our common stock or cease publishing reports about us or our business.
The above factors are difficult to forecast, and these, as well as other factors, could materially and adversely affect our quarterly and annual results of operations. Any failure to adjust spending quickly enough to compensate for a revenue shortfall could magnify the adverse impact of this revenue shortfall on our results of operations. Moreover, our results of operations may not meet our announced guidance or the expectations of research analysts or investors, in which case the price of our common stock could decrease significantly. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully address these risks.
If research analysts do not publish research about our business or if they issue unfavorable commentary or downgrade our common stock, our stock price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our common stock depends in part on the research and reports that research analysts publish about us and our business. The price of our common stock could decline if one or more research analysts downgrade our stock or if those analysts issue other unfavorable commentary or cease publishing reports about us or our business. If one or more of the research analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our common stock could decrease, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.
We may not be able to raise additional capital to execute on our current or future business opportunities on favorable terms, if at all, or without dilution to our stockholders.
We believe that our existing cash and cash equivalents and cash flows from our operating activities will be sufficient to meet our anticipated cash needs for at least the next 12 months. However, we may need to raise additional capital or debt financing to execute on our current or future business strategies, including to:
provide additional cash reserves to support our operations;
invest in our research and development efforts;
expand our operations into new product markets and new geographies;
acquire complementary businesses, products, services or technologies; or
otherwise pursue our strategic plans and respond to competitive pressures, including adjustments to our business to mitigate the effects of any tariffs that might apply to us or our industry.
Additionally, while we have not repurchased any shares under the plan, our Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $200.0 million of our common stock through open market purchases or through structured repurchase agreements with third parties. Such purchases are expected to continue through March 2022 unless otherwise extended or shortened by our Board of Directors.
We do not know what forms of financing, if any, will be available to us. If financing is not available on acceptable terms, if and when needed, our ability to fund our operations, enhance our research and development and sales and marketing functions, develop and enhance our products, respond to unanticipated events and opportunities, or otherwise respond to competitive pressures would be significantly limited. In any such event, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed, and we may be unable to continue our operations. Moreover, if we raise additional funds through the issuance of equity or convertible debt securities, the percentage ownership of our stockholders could be significantly diluted, and these newly issued securities may have rights, preferences or privileges senior to those of existing stockholders.
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Our affiliated stockholders, executive officers and directors own a significant percentage of our stock, and they may take actions that our other stockholders may not view as beneficial.
Our affiliated stockholders, executive officers and directors collectively own, and will continue to own after giving effect to this offering, a significant percentage of our common stock. This significant concentration of share ownership may adversely affect the trading price for our common stock and the notes because investors often perceive disadvantages in owning stock in companies with controlling stockholders. Also, as a result, these stockholders, acting together, may be able to control our management and affairs and matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions, such as mergers, consolidations or the sale of substantially all of our assets. Consequently, this concentration of ownership may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control, including a merger, consolidation or other business combination involving us, or discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control, even if this change in control would benefit our other stockholders.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market by our existing stockholders could cause our stock price to fall.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market or the perception that these sales might occur, could depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. We are unable to predict the effect that sales may have on the prevailing market price of our common stock. All of the outstanding shares of our common stock are eligible for sale in the public market, subject in some cases to agreed limits on sale volumes and the volume limitations and manner of sale requirements of Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Sales of stock by our stockholders could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock.
Certain holders of our securities are entitled to rights with respect to the registration of their shares under the Securities Act. Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in the shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act. For instance, in December in 2018, we filed a resale registration statement related to the approximately 7.5 million shares of our common stock that were issued to SunPower upon the closing of the APA transaction. Any sales of securities by SunPower or other stockholders with registration rights could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock.
Manipulative techniques employed by short sellers may drive down the market price of our common stock.
Short selling is the practice of selling securities that the seller does not own, but rather has borrowed from a third party with the intention of buying identical securities back at a later date to return to the lender. Short sellers hope to profit from a decline in the value of the securities between the sale of the borrowed securities and the purchase of the replacement shares, as the short seller expects to pay less in that purchase than it received in the sale. As it is in the short seller’s best interests for the price of the stock to decline, some short sellers publish, or arrange for the publication of, negative opinions regarding the issuer and its business prospects in order to create negative market momentum and generate profits for themselves after selling a stock short. The use of the Internet, social media, and blogging have allowed short sellers to publicly attack a company’s credibility, strategy and veracity by means of so-called “research reports” that mimic the type of investment analysis performed by legitimate securities research analysts. These short attacks have in the past led to stock price declines and significant selling activity in our common stock. Issuers with limited trading volumes or substantial retail shareholder bases can be particularly susceptible to higher volatility levels, and can be particularly vulnerable to such short attacks.
Short seller publications are not regulated by any governmental, self-regulatory organization or other official authority in the U.S., are not subject to the certification requirements imposed by the SEC in Regulation Analyst Certification and, accordingly, the opinions they express may be based on distortions of actual facts or, in some cases, outright fabrications. In light of the limited risks involved in publishing such information, and the significant profits that can be made from running successful short attacks, short sellers have issued such reports on our stock and will likely continue to issue such reports. Such short-seller attacks may cause our stock to suffer a decline in market price.
We currently do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock and, consequently, your only opportunity to achieve a return on your investment is if the price of our common stock appreciates.
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We currently do not plan to declare dividends on shares of our common stock in the foreseeable future. In addition, our term loan agreement restricts our ability to pay dividends. Consequently, an investor’s only opportunity to achieve a return on its investment in our company will be if the market price of our common stock appreciates and the investor sells its shares at a profit.
Our charter documents and Delaware law could prevent a takeover that stockholders consider favorable and could also reduce the market price of our stock.
Our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control of our company. These provisions could also make it more difficult for stockholders to elect directors and take other corporate actions, including effecting changes in our management. These provisions include:
providing for a classified board of directors with staggered, three-year terms, which could delay the ability of stockholders to change the membership of a majority of our board of directors;
not providing for cumulative voting in the election of directors, which limits the ability of minority stockholders to elect director candidates;
authorizing our board of directors to issue, without stockholder approval, preferred stock rights senior to those of common stock, which could be used to significantly dilute the ownership of a hostile acquiror;
prohibiting stockholder action by written consent, which forces stockholder action to be taken at an annual or special meeting of our stockholders;
requiring the affirmative vote of holders of at least 66 2/3% of the voting power of all of the then outstanding shares of voting stock, voting as a single class, to amend provisions of our certificate of incorporation relating to the management of our business, our board of directors, stockholder action by written consent, advance notification of stockholder nominations and proposals, forum selection and the liability of our directors, or to amend our bylaws, which may inhibit the ability of stockholders or an acquiror to effect such amendments to facilitate changes in management or an unsolicited takeover attempt;
requiring special meetings of stockholders may only be called by our chairman of the board, if any, our chief executive officer, our president or a majority of our board of directors, which could delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or to take action, including the removal of directors; and
requiring advance notification of stockholder nominations and proposals, which may discourage or deter a potential acquiror from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquiror’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
In addition, the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporate Law may prohibit large stockholders, in particular those owning 15% or more of our outstanding common stock, from engaging in certain business combinations, without approval of substantially all of our stockholders, for a certain period of time.
These provisions in our certificate of incorporation, our bylaws and under Delaware law could discourage potential takeover attempts, reduce the price that investors might be willing to pay for shares of our common stock in the future and result in the market price being lower than it would be without these provisions.
General Risks Related to our Business
Natural disasters, public health events, significant disruptions of information technology systems, data security breaches, or other catastrophic events could adversely affect our operations.
Our worldwide operations could be subject to natural disasters, public health events and other business disruptions, which could harm our future revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses. For example, our corporate headquarters in Fremont, California is located near major earthquake fault lines and our Petaluma, California facility is near fault lines and the sites of recent catastrophic wildfires. We rely on third-party manufacturing facilities including for all product assembly and final testing of our products, which are performed at third-party manufacturing facilities, in China, Mexico and India. There may be conflict or uncertainty in the countries in which we operate, including public health issues (for example, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic or an outbreak of other contagious diseases or health epidemics), safety issues, natural disasters, fire, disruptions of service from utilities, nuclear power plant accidents or general economic or political factors. Such risks could result in an increase
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in the cost of components, production delays, general business interruptions, delays from difficulties in obtaining export licenses for certain technology, tariffs and other barriers and restrictions, longer payment cycles, increased taxes, restrictions on the repatriation of funds and the burdens of complying with a variety of foreign laws, any of which could ultimately have a material adverse effect on our business.
Further, any terrorist attacks, material disruption to our information technology systems or any data security breaches, including due to cyber-attacks, especially any aimed at energy or communications infrastructure suppliers or our cloud-based monitoring service, could hinder or delay the development and sale or performance of our products or otherwise adverse affect us. Such significant disruptions of our, our third party vendors’ and/or business partners’ information technology systems or data security breaches, including in our remote work environment as a result of COVID-19, could adversely affect our business operations and/or result in the loss, misappropriation, and/or unauthorized access, use or disclosure of, or the prevention of access to, confidential information (including trade secrets or other intellectual property, proprietary business information and personal information), and could result in financial, legal, business and reputational harm to us. Any such event that leads to unauthorized access, use or disclosure of personal information, including personal information regarding our customers, could harm our reputation, compel us to comply with federal and/or state breach notification laws and foreign law equivalents, subject us to mandatory corrective action, require us to verify the correctness of database contents and otherwise subject us to liability under laws and regulations that protect the privacy and security of personal information, which could disrupt our business, result in increased costs or loss of revenue, and/or result in legal and financial exposure. In addition, security breaches and other inappropriate access can be difficult to detect, and any delay in identifying them may further harm us. Moreover, the prevalent use of mobile devices to access confidential information increases the risk of security breaches. While we have implemented security measures to protect our information technology systems and infrastructure, there can be no assurance that such measures will prevent service interruptions or security breaches that could adversely affect our business. In addition, failure to maintain effective internal accounting controls related to security breaches and cybersecurity in general could impact our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements and subject us to regulatory scrutiny.
In the event that natural disasters, public health epidemics or technical catastrophes were to damage or destroy any part of our facilities or those of our contract manufacturer, destroy or disrupt vital infrastructure systems or interrupt our operations or services for any extended period of time, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be materially and adversely affected.
The threat of global economic, capital markets and credit disruptions, including sovereign debt issues, pose risks to our business.
The threat of global economic, capital markets and credit disruptions pose risks to our business. These risks include slower economic activity and investment in projects that make use of our products and services. These economic developments, particularly decreased credit availability, have in the past reduced demand for solar products. For instance, the European sovereign debt crisis in recent years has caused and may continue to cause European governments to reduce, eliminate or allow to expire government subsidies and economic incentives for solar energy, which could limit our growth or cause our net sales to decline and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. These conditions, including reduced incentives, continued decreases in credit availability, as well as continued economic instability, have and may continue to adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations as we seek to increase our sales internationally.
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If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls or are unable to remediate any deficiencies in our internal controls, we might not be able to report our financial results accurately or prevent fraud; in that case, our stockholders could lose confidence in our financial reporting, which would harm our business and could negatively impact the price of our stock.
Effective internal controls are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and prevent fraud. In addition, Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires us to establish and maintain internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls procedures. The process of implementing our internal controls and complying with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has required, and will continue to require, significant attention of management. If we or our independent registered public accounting firm discover a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting, the disclosure of that fact, even if quickly remedied, could reduce the market’s confidence in our financial statements and harm our stock price. To the extent any material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting are identified, we could be required to expend significant management time and financial resources to correct such material weaknesses or to respond to any resulting regulatory investigations or proceedings.
Our business is subject to potential tax liabilities.
We are subject to income tax, indirect tax or other tax claims by tax agencies in jurisdictions in which we conduct business. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes. Tax laws are dynamic and subject to change as new laws are passed and new interpretations of the law are issued or applied. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Tax Reform Act”) contained many significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws, the consequences of which could have a material impact on the value of our deferred tax assets and could increase our future U.S. income tax expense. As additional guidance is issued by the applicable taxing authorities and as new accounting treatment is clarified, we may report additional adjustments in the period if new information becomes available. We have a significant amount of deferred tax assets and a portion of the deferred tax assets related to net operating losses or tax credits could be subject to limitations under the Code Sections 382 or 383, separate return limitation year rules. The limitations could reduce our ability to utilize our net operating losses or tax credits before the expiration of the tax attributes. Tax law changes or the limitations could be material and could materially affect our tax obligations and effective tax rate.
In the ordinary course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate income tax, indirect tax, or other tax determination is uncertain. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, we cannot be certain that the final determination of our tax audits and litigation will not be materially different from that which is reflected in historical tax provisions and accruals. Should additional taxes be assessed as a result of an audit, assessment or litigation, there could be a material adverse effect on our cash, tax provisions and net income (loss) in the period or periods for which that determination is made.
Our business has been and could continue to be affected by seasonal trends and construction cycles.
We have been and could continue to be subject to industry-specific seasonal fluctuations. Historically, the majority of our revenues are from the North American and European regions which experience higher sales of our products in the second, third and fourth quarters and have been affected by seasonal customer demand trends, including weather patterns and construction cycles. The first quarter historically has had softer customer demand in our industry, due to these same factors. In the U.S., customers will sometimes make purchasing decisions towards the end of the year in order to take advantage of tax credits or for budgetary reasons. In addition, construction levels are typically slower in colder and wetter months. In European countries with FiTs, the construction of solar PV systems may be concentrated during the second half of the calendar year, largely due to the annual reduction of the applicable minimum FiT and the fact that the coldest winter months are January through March. Accordingly, our business and quarterly results of operations could be affected by seasonal fluctuations in the future.
Item 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
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Item 2.    Properties
The table below presents details for each of our principal properties:
FacilityLocationHeldApproximate Square FootageLease end term
Corporate headquartersFremont, U.S.Leased40,446Sep-2025
Customer service supportBoise, U.S.Leased24,688Jan-2027
Administrative office and R&D facilityPetaluma, U.S.Leased141,231Aug-2022
R&D facilitySan Jose, U.SLeased25,720Mar-2031
Global support officeIndiaLeased67,000May-2024
Marketing and sales supportFranceLeased2,820Nov-2026
R&D facilityNew ZealandLeased23,573Oct-2025
Marketing and sales supportAustraliaLeased2,931Dec-2022
Item 3.    Legal Proceedings
From time to time, we might be subject to various legal proceedings relating to claims arising out of our operations. The outcome of litigation is inherently uncertain. If one or more legal matters were resolved against us in a reporting period for amounts above management’s expectations, our business, results of operations, financial position and cash flows for that reporting period could be materially adversely affected. Except as described in this Item 3, we are not currently involved in any material legal proceedings, the ultimate disposition of which could have a material adverse effect on our operations, financial condition, or cash flows.
Class Action Suit
On or about June 17, 2020, Gregory A. Hurst (“Plaintiff”) filed a securities class action lawsuit against our company, our chief executive officer and our chief financial officer (collectively, the "Defendants") in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of a class consisting of those individuals who purchased or otherwise acquired our common stock between February 26, 2019 and June 17, 2020 (the “Hurst Action”). The complaint alleges that the Defendants made false and/or misleading statements in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Plaintiff does not quantify any alleged damages in his complaint but, in addition to attorneys' fees and costs, he seeks to recover damages on behalf of himself and other persons who purchased or otherwise acquired our stock during the putative class period at allegedly inflated prices and purportedly suffered financial harm as a result. The court appointed Plaintiff as the Lead Plaintiff on November 30, 2020. On December 7, 2020, the court granted the parties’ stipulation setting the schedule for the filing of an amended complaint and Defendants’ anticipated motion to dismiss. On January 22, 2021, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against Defendants asserting substantially the same allegations as the original complaint purportedly on behalf of individuals who purchased or otherwise acquired Enphase common stock between February 26, 2019 and June 16, 2020. We dispute all allegations, intend to defend the matter vigorously and believe the claims are without merit.
Derivative Action Suit
On or about July 10, 2020, Yan Shen filed a verified shareholder derivative lawsuit captioned Shen v. Kothandaraman, et al., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Badrinarayanan Kothandaraman, Eric Branderiz, Mandy Yang, Steven J. Gomo, Benjamin Kortlang, Richard Mora, Thurman J. Rodgers, and Enphase Energy, Inc. (nominal defendant) alleging breaches of fiduciary duties, unjust enrichment, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste, and violations of Section 14(a) under the Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Shen Action”). The plaintiff does not quantify any alleged damages in the complaint, but in addition to attorneys’ fees and costs, seeks a proposal to strengthen the Board’s supervision of operations and shareholder input into the policies and guidelines of the Board; to permit our shareholders to nominate at least three candidates for election to the Board; and to ensure the establishment of effective oversight of compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; and restitution from the individual defendants. On September 24, 2020, the court entered an order staying the derivative action until all motions to dismiss the securities class action are decided.
On October 28, 2020, Benjamin Weber filed a verified shareholder derivative lawsuit captioned Weber v. Kothandaraman, et al., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Badrinarayanan Kothandaraman, Eric Branderiz, Mandy Yang, Steven J. Gomo, Benjamin Kortlang, Richard Mora, Thurman J. Rodgers, and Enphase Energy, Inc. (nominal defendant) containing substantially the same allegations
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as those in the Shen Action (the “Weber Action”). On November 20, 2020, the court consolidated the Shen and Weber Actions, ordered them related to the Hurst Action, and ordered the terms of the stay previously entered in the Shen Action to apply to the newly consolidated action under Lead Case No. 3:20-cv-04623-BLF (the “Consolidated Derivative Action”) and all subsequently filed derivative lawsuits arising out of substantially the same allegations as the Consolidated Derivative Action.
On November 18, 2020, Anthony R. Buch filed a verified shareholder derivative lawsuit captioned Buch v. Kothandaraman, et al., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Badrinarayanan Kothandaraman, Eric Branderiz, Mandy Yang, Steven J. Gomo, Benjamin Kortlang, Richard Mora, Thurman J. Rodgers, and Enphase Energy, Inc. (nominal defendant) containing substantially the same allegations as those in the Consolidated Derivative Action (the “Buch Action”). On December 2, 2020, the court granted the parties stipulation to consolidate the Buch Action with the Consolidated Derivative Action.
On December 9, 2020, Frank Caggiano filed a verified shareholder derivative lawsuit captioned Caggiano v. Kothandaraman, et al., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Badrinarayanan Kothandaraman, Eric Branderiz, Mandy Yang, Steven J. Gomo, Benjamin Kortlang, Richard Mora, Thurman J. Rodgers, and Enphase Energy, Inc. (nominal defendant) containing substantially the same allegations as those in the Consolidated Derivative Action (the “Caggiano Action”). On December 24, 2020, the court granted the parties stipulation to consolidate the Caggiano Action with the Consolidated Derivative Action.
We dispute the allegations in each of the above-reference derivative lawsuits, and we intend to defend the matter vigorously and believe the claims are without merit.
Books and Records Suit
On September 15, 2020, Stanley Olochwoszcz filed a lawsuit against our company in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware pursuant to Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, 8 Del. C. § 220, to compel the company to permit Mr. Olochwoszcz to inspect certain of our books and records (the “Section 220 Litigation”). The complaint alleges that our company has wrongfully refused to produce documents in response to Mr. Olochwoszcz’s demand and seeks a court order compelling us to permit inspection and copying of certain of our books and records, as well as costs and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, related to the lawsuit. We have also received similar demands for inspection of our books and records from four other company stockholders.
On February 4, 2021, Mr. Olochwoszcz and three other demanding stockholders—Teamsters Local 677 Health Services & Insurance Plan, Saratoga Advantage Trust Small Capitalization Portfolio and Leo Schumacher—filed in the Section 220 Litigation a stipulation to intervene on a limited basis. The parties agreed to the limited intervention, a confidentiality agreement, and a stay of the Section 220 Litigation in connection with a document production agreement between the Company and four of the five demanding stockholders. Pursuant to the stay agreement, the Section 220 Litigation will be stayed to allow the parties to explore the resolution of the demands.
The pending lawsuits and any other related lawsuits are subject to inherent uncertainties, and the actual defense and disposition costs will depend upon many unknown factors. The outcome of the pending lawsuits and any other related lawsuits is necessarily uncertain. We could be forced to expend significant resources in the defense of the pending lawsuits and any additional lawsuits, and we may not prevail. In addition, we may incur substantial legal fees and costs in connection with such lawsuits.
Item 4.    Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
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PART II
Item 5.    Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Common Stock
Our common stock, $0.00001 par value per share, has been traded on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “ENPH” since March 30, 2012.
Holders
As of February 8, 2021, there were approximately 19 holders of record of our common stock, one of which was Cede & Co., a nominee for Depository Trust Company (“DTC”). All of the shares of our common stock held by brokerage firms, banks and other financial institutions as nominees for beneficial owners are deposited into participant accounts at DTC and are therefore considered to be held of record by Cede & Co. as one stockholder.
Dividend Policy
We have never paid any cash dividends on our common stock. We currently anticipate that we will retain any available funds to invest in the growth and operation of our business and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities and Issuer Repurchases of Securities
Except as previously reported in our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC during the year ended December 31, 2020, there were no unregistered sales of equity securities by us during the year ended December 31, 2020.
In April 2020, our board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $200.0 million of our common stock, exclusive of brokerage commissions. Purchases will be completed from time to time in the open market or through structured repurchase agreements with third parties. Such purchases are expected to continue through March 2022 unless otherwise extended or shortened by our board of directors. The timing and amount of repurchases will depend on a variety of factors, including the price of our common stock compared to the intrinsic value, alternative investment opportunities, corporate and regulatory requirements and market conditions. As of December 31, 2020, we have not repurchased any shares under this repurchase program.
The following table provides information about our purchases of our common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2020 (in thousands, except per share amounts):
Period Ended
Total Number of Shares Purchased
Average Price Paid per Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Programs
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Programs
October 2020
— $— — $200,000 
November 2020
— $— — $200,000 
December 2020
— $— — $200,000 
Total
— — 
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Stock Performance Graph
This section is not “soliciting material” and is not deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) or otherwise subject to the liabilities of that section, nor shall it be deemed incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, regardless of any general incorporation language in such filing.
The graph depicted below shows a comparison of cumulative total stockholder returns for our common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the Invesco Solar ETF for the period from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2020. An investment of $100 is assumed to have been made in our common stock and in each index on December 31, 2016, all dividends were reinvested, and the relative performance of the investments are tracked through December 31, 2020. The information shown is historical and stockholder returns over the indicated period should not be considered indicative of future stockholder returns or future performance.
https://cdn.kscope.io/643c5dad57375a321eacd2534c9282c9-enph-20201231_g2.jpg
December 31,
2016
December 31,
2017
December 31,
2018
December 31,
2019
December 31,
2020
Enphase Energy, Inc.
$100 $239 $468 $2,587 $17,373 
S&P 500 Index$100 $119 $112 $144 $168 
Invesco Solar ETF$100 $152 $112 $187 $623 
Item 6.    Selected Consolidated Financial Data
The information set forth below for the five years ended December 31, 2020 is not necessarily indicative of results of future operations, and should be read in conjunction with Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and the consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to fully understand the factors that may affect the comparability of the information presented below.’
We adopted Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) No. 606, “Revenue Recognition” (“ASC 606” or “Topic 606”) and applied the modified retrospective method to all contracts that were not completed as of January 1, 2018. Financial data for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 have not been adjusted to reflect the adoption of ASC 606.
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Years Ended December 31,
20202019201820172016
(in thousands, except per share data)
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:
Net revenues$774,425 $624,333 $316,159 $286,166 $322,591 
Cost of revenues428,444 403,088 221,714 230,123 264,583 
Gross profit345,981 221,245 94,445 56,043 58,008 
Operating expenses:
Research and development55,921 40,381 32,587 33,157 50,703 
Sales and marketing52,927 36,728 27,047 23,126 38,810 
General and administrative50,694 38,808 29,086 22,221 27,418 
Restructuring charges— 2,599 4,129 16,917 3,777 
Total operating expenses159,542 118,516 92,849 95,421 120,708 
Income (loss) from operations186,439 102,729 1,596 (39,378)(62,700)
Other expense, net
Interest income2,156 2,513 1,058 276 75 
Interest expense(21,001)(9,691)(10,693)(8,212)(2,848)
Other income (expense), net(3,836)(5,437)(2,190)1,973 (514)
Change in fair value of derivatives(44,348)— — — — 
Total other expense, net(67,029)(12,615)(11,825)(5,963)(3,287)
Income (loss) before income taxes119,410 90,114 (10,229)(45,341)(65,987)
Income tax benefit (provision)14,585 71,034 (1,398)149 (1,475)
Net income (loss)$133,995 $161,148 $(11,627)$(45,192)$(67,462)
Net income (loss) per share:
Basic$1.07 $1.38 $(0.12)$(0.54)$(1.34)
Diluted$0.95 $1.23 $(0.12)$(0.54)$(1.34)
Shares used in per share calculation:
Basic125,561 116,713 99,619 82,939 50,519 
Diluted141,918 131,644 99,619 82,939 50,519 

As of December 31, 
20202019201820172016
(in thousands)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash$679,379 $296,109 $106,237 $29,144 $17,764 
Total assets1,200,102 713,223 339,937 169,147 163,576 
Warranty obligations45,913 37,098 31,294 29,816 31,414 
Debt330,865 105,543 109,783 49,751 33,900 
Total stockholders’ equity483,993 272,212 7,776 (9,126)1,300 
Additional Data:
Working capital$399,021 $300,346 $75,141 $38,705 $35,092 
Gross margin percentage44.7 %35.4 %29.9 %19.6 %18.0 %

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Item 7.    Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Forward-Looking Statements
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements reflecting our current expectations and involves risks and uncertainties. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “intend,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Such statements, include but are not limited to statements regarding our expectations as to future financial performance, expense levels, liquidity sources, the capabilities and performance of our technology and products and planned changes, timing of new product releases, our business strategies, including anticipated trends, growth and developments in markets in which we target, the anticipated market adoption of our current and future products, performance in operations, including component supply management, product quality and customer service, risks related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the anticipated benefits and risks relating to the transaction with SunPower Corporation. Our actual results and the timing of events may differ materially from those discussed in our forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those discussed below and those discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Business Overview and 2020 Highlights
We are a global energy technology company. We deliver smart, easy-to-use solutions that manage solar generation, storage and communication on one single platform. We revolutionized the solar industry with our microinverter technology and we produce a fully integrated solar-plus-storage solution. To date, we have shipped more than 32 million microinverters, and approximately 1.4 million Enphase residential and commercial systems have been deployed in more than 130 countries.
We sell our solutions primarily to distributors who resell them to solar installers. We also sell directly to large installers, OEMs, strategic partners and homeowners. Our revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 and first quarter of 2020 was positively impacted by the scheduled phase-down of the investment tax credit for solar projects under Section 48(a) (the “ITC”) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). 
The Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 provided a 30% federal tax credit for residential and commercial solar installations through December 31, 2019, which was reduced to a tax credit of 26% for any solar energy system that began construction during 2020 through December 31, 2022, and 22% thereafter to December 31, 2023 before being reduced to 10% for commercial installations and 0% for residential installations beginning on January 1, 2024. As a result, several of our customers explored opportunities to purchase products in 2019 to take advantage of safe harbor guidance from the IRS published in June 2018, allowing them to preserve the historical 30% investment tax credit for solar equipment purchased in 2019 for solar projects that are completed after December 31, 2019. Safe harbor prepayments from customers in the fourth quarter of 2019 resulted in $44.5 million of revenue recognized in the first quarter of 2020 when we delivered the product.
On March 9, 2020, we issued $320.0 million aggregate principal amount of our Convertible Senior Notes due 2025 (the “Notes due 2025”) in a private placement. The Notes due 2025 are general unsecured obligations and bear interest at a rate of 0.25% per year, payable semi-annually on March 1 and September 1 of each year, beginning on September 1, 2020. The Notes due 2025 will mature on March 1, 2025, unless earlier repurchased by us or converted at the option of the holders. Further information relating to the Notes due 2025 may be found in Note 11, “Debt,” of the notes to consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and below under the section titled “- Liquidity and Capital Resources.”
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On March 26, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (the “USTR”) announced certain exclusion requests related to tariffs on Chinese imported microinverter products that fit the dimensions and weight limits within a Section 301 Tariff exclusion under U.S. note 20(ss)(40) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (the “Tariff Exclusion”). The Tariff Exclusion applies to covered products under the China Section 301 Tariff Actions (“Section 301 Tariffs”) taken by the USTR exported from China to the United States from September 24, 2018 until August 7, 2020. Accordingly, we sought refunds totaling approximately $38.9 million plus approximately $0.6 million accrued interest on tariffs previously paid from September 24, 2018 to March 31, 2020 for certain microinverters that qualify for the Tariff Exclusion. The refund request was subject to review and approval by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection; therefore, we assessed that the probable loss recovery for the year ended December 31, 2020 is equal to the approved refund requests available to us prior to issuance of the financial statements on February 12, 2021.
As of December 31, 2020, we have received $24.8 million of tariff refunds and accrued for the remaining $14.7 million tariff refunds that were approved, however, not yet received on or before December 31, 2020. For the year ended December 31, 2020, we recorded $38.9 million as a reduction to cost of revenues in our consolidated statements of operations as the approved refunds relate to paid tariffs previously recorded to cost of revenues; therefore, we recorded the corresponding approved tariff refunds as credits to cost of revenues in the current period. For the year ended December 31, 2020, we recorded the $0.6 million accrued interest as interest income in our consolidated statement of operations. The tariff refund receivable of $14.7 million is recorded as a reduction of accounts payable to Flex Ltd. and affiliates (“Flex”), our manufacturing partner and the importer of record who will first receive the tariff refunds, on the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020.
The Tariff Exclusion expired on August 7, 2020 and those microinverter products now are subject to tariffs. We continue to pay Section 301 Tariffs on our storage and communication products and other accessories imported from China which are not subject to the Tariff Exclusion.
In December 2020, holders exchanged $43.9 million in aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024, the principal amount of which was repaid in cash. Of the $43.9 million in aggregate principal amount, $38.5 million in aggregate principal amount was settled pursuant to an exchange agreement entered into in December 2020 with certain holders of Notes due 2024. We also issued approximately 1.9 million shares of our common stock to the holders in December 2020 for the conversion value in excess of the principal amount of the Notes due 2024, which were fully offset by shares received from our exercise of the associated note hedging arrangements. Refer to Note 11. Debt, of the notes to consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information. In connection with the settlement of the Notes due 2024, we entered into partial unwind agreements to unwind number of warrants exercisable under our note hedging arrangements and to issue approximately 2.1 million warrants on a net basis, resulting in a net issuance of approximately 1.9 million shares of our common stock in connection with the exchange of the Notes due 2024.
Impact of COVID-19
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruptions and uncertainties, including in the core markets in which we operate. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly curtailed the movement of people, goods and services and had a notable impact on general economic conditions including but not limited to the temporary closures of many businesses, “shelter in place” orders and other governmental regulations, and reduced consumer spending. The most significant near-term impacts of COVID-19 on our financial performance are a decline in sales orders as future residential and commercial system owners are canceling sales meetings with system installation professionals or postponing system installations. As the purchase of new solar energy management solutions declines as part of the impact of COVID-19 on consumer spending, many businesses through which we distribute our products are working at limited operational capacity. The extent of the impact of COVID-19 on our future operational and financial performance will depend on various future developments, including the duration and spread of the outbreak, impact on our employees, impact on our customers, effect on our sales cycles or costs, and effect on our supply chain and vendors, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted, but which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. Further information relating to the risks and uncertainties related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may be found in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
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Components of Consolidated Statements of Operations
Net Revenues
We primarily generate net revenues from sales of our microinverter solutions and related accessories, which include our storage systems, our Envoy communications gateway and Enlighten cloud-based monitoring service as well as other accessories.
Our revenue is affected by changes in the volume and average selling prices of our solutions and related accessories, supply and demand, sales incentives, and competitive product offerings. Our revenue growth is dependent on our ability to compete effectively in the marketplace by remaining cost competitive, developing and introducing new products that meet the changing technology and performance requirements of our customers, the diversification and expansion of our revenue base, and our ability to market our products in a manner that increases awareness for microinverter technology and differentiates us in the marketplace.
Cost of Revenues and Gross Profit
Cost of revenues is comprised primarily of product costs, warranty, manufacturing personnel and logistics costs, freight costs, depreciation and amortization of test equipment and hosting services costs. Our product costs are impacted by technological innovations, such as advances in semiconductor integration and new product introductions, economies of scale resulting in lower component costs, and improvements in production processes and automation. Certain costs, primarily personnel and depreciation and amortization of test equipment, are not directly affected by sales volume.
We outsource our manufacturing to third-party contract manufacturers and generally negotiate product pricing with them on a quarterly basis. We believe our contract manufacturing partners have sufficient production capacity to meet the anticipated demand for our products for the foreseeable future. However, shortages in the supply of certain key raw materials could adversely affect our ability to meet customer demand for our products. We contract with third parties, including one of our contract manufacturers, to serve as our logistics providers by warehousing and delivering our products in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Gross profit may vary from quarter to quarter and is primarily affected by our average selling prices, product cost, product mix, customer mix, tariff refunds, warranty costs and sales volume fluctuations resulting from seasonality.
Operating Expenses
Operating expenses consist of research and development, sales and marketing, general and administrative and restructuring expenses. Personnel-related costs are the most significant component of each of these expense categories other than restructuring expense and include salaries, benefits, payroll taxes, sales commissions, incentive compensation and stock-based compensation.
Research and development expense include personnel-related expenses, third-party design and development costs, testing and evaluation costs, depreciation expense and other indirect costs. Research and development employees are primarily engaged in the design and development of power electronics, semiconductors, powerline communications, networking and software functionality, and storage. We devote substantial resources to research and development programs that focus on enhancements to, and cost efficiencies in, our existing products and timely development of new products that utilize technological innovation to drive down product costs, improve functionality, and enhance reliability. We intend to continue to invest appropriate resources in our research and development efforts because we believe they are critical to maintaining our competitive position.
Sales and marketing expense include personnel-related expenses, travel, trade shows, marketing, customer support and other indirect costs. We expect to continue to make the necessary investments to enable us to execute our strategy to increase our market penetration geographically and enter into new markets by expanding our customer base of distributors, large installers, OEMs and strategic partners. We currently offer solutions targeting the residential and commercial markets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central American markets, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India and certain other Asian markets. We expect to continue to expand the geographic reach of our product offerings and explore new sales channels in addressable markets in the future.
General and administrative expense include personnel-related expenses for our executive, finance, human resources, information technology and legal organizations, facilities costs, and fees for professional services. Fees for professional services consist primarily of outside legal, accounting and information technology consulting costs.
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Restructuring charges are the net charges resulting from restructuring initiatives implemented in 2018 through 2019 (the “2018 Plan”) to improve operational performance and reduce overall operating expenses. Under the 2018 Plan, costs included in restructuring primarily consisted of employee severance and one-time benefits, workforce reorganization charges, non-cash charges related to impairment of property and equipment, and the establishment of lease loss reserves. See Note 10. “Restructuring,” of the notes to consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.
Other Expense, Net
Other expense, net primarily consists of interest expense and fees under our convertible notes and term loans, non-cash interest expense related to the accretion of debt discount and amortization of deferred financing costs, and non-cash charge recognized for the change in fair value of our convertible notes embedded derivative and warrants. Other expense, net also includes interest income on our cash balance, accrued interest on tariffs previously paid and approved for refund, and gains or losses upon conversion of foreign currency transactions into U.S. dollars.
Income Tax Benefit (Provision)
We are subject to income taxes in the countries where we sell our products. Historically, we have primarily been subject to taxation in the U.S. because we have sold the majority of our products to customers in the U.S. As we have expanded the sale of products to customers outside the U.S., we have become subject to taxation based on the foreign statutory rates in the countries where these sales took place. As sales in foreign jurisdictions increase in the future, our effective tax rate may fluctuate accordingly. We regularly assess the ability to realize deferred tax assets based on the weight of all available evidence, including such factors as the history of recent earnings and expected future taxable income on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis. During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, after considering these factors, we determined that the positive evidence overcame any negative evidence, primarily due to cumulative income in recent years, and the expectation of sustained profitability in future periods and concluded that it was more likely than not that the US federal and state deferred tax assets were realizable. As a result, we released the valuation allowance against all of the U.S. federal and state deferred tax assets during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019.
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Summary Consolidated Statements of Operations
The following table sets forth a summary of our consolidated statements of operations for the periods presented (in thousands):
Years Ended December 31,
202020192018
Net revenues$774,425 $624,333 $316,159 
Cost of revenues428,444 403,088 221,714 
Gross profit345,981 221,245 94,445 
Operating expenses:
Research and development55,921 40,381 32,587 
Sales and marketing52,927 36,728 27,047 
General and administrative50,694 38,808 29,086 
Restructuring charges— 2,599 4,129 
Total operating expenses159,542 118,516 92,849 
Income from operations186,439 102,729 1,596 
Other expense, net
Interest income2,156 2,513 1,058 
Interest expense(21,001)(9,691)(10,693)
Other expense, net(3,836)(5,437)(2,190)
Change in fair value of derivatives(44,348)— — 
Total other expense, net(67,029)(12,615)(11,825)
Income (loss) before income taxes119,410 90,114 (10,229)
Income tax benefit (provision)14,585 71,034 (1,398)
Net income (loss)$133,995 $161,148 $(11,627)

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Results of Operations
In this section, we discuss the results of our operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. For a discussion of the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018, please refer to Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Net Revenues 
Years Ended December 31,
Change in
20202019
$
%
(In thousands, except percentages)
Net revenues
$774,425 $624,333 $150,092 24 %
Net revenues increased by 24% or $150.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the same period in 2019, primarily due to the 11% increase in microinverter unit volume shipped primarily as a result of business growth in the U.S., higher microinverter units shipped in the first quarter of 2020 as our customers took advantage of safe harbor guidance from the IRS and shipments of our Enphase Encharge storage systems to customers in North America. We sold approximately 6.8 million microinverter units in the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to approximately 6.2 million microinverter units in the same period in 2019.
Cost of Revenues and Gross Profit
Years Ended December 31,
Change in
20202019
$
%
(In thousands, except percentages)
Cost of revenues
$428,444 $403,088 $25,356 %
Gross profit
345,981 221,245 124,736 56 %
Gross margin
44.7 %35.4 %
Cost of revenues increased by 6% or $25.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the same period in 2019, primarily due to higher volume of microinverter units sold and shipments of our Enphase Encharge storage systems primarily as a result of business growth in the U.S., as well as higher units shipped in the first quarter of 2020 as our customers took advantage of safe harbor guidance from the IRS, partially offset by the $38.9 million in refunds approved for tariffs mentioned above and a decrease in the unit cost of our products as a result of our cost reduction efforts.
Gross margin increased by 9.3 percentage points for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the same period in 2019. The increase in gross margin was primarily attributable to the $38.9 million in refunds approved for tariffs mentioned above as well as our overall pricing and cost management efforts, including the transition of our contract manufacturing to Mexico to mitigate tariffs.
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Research and Development
Years Ended December 31,
Change in
20202019
$
%
(In thousands, except percentages)
Research and development
$55,921 $40,381 $15,540 38 %
Percentage of net revenues%%
Research and development expense increased by 38% or $15.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the same period in 2019. The increase was primarily due to $13.6 million higher personnel-related expenses and $2.5 million of outside consulting, engineering services and equipment associated with the innovation and development, introduction and qualification of new products, partially offset by a $0.6 million reduction in travel expenditure as we implemented travel restrictions prohibiting all non-essential business travel. The increase in personnel-related expenses was primarily due to hiring employees in New Zealand, India and US, increasing total compensation costs. The amount of research and development expenses may fluctuate from period to period due to differing levels and stages of development activity.
Sales and Marketing
Years Ended December 31,
Change in
20202019
$
%
(In thousands, except percentages)
Sales and marketing
$52,927 $36,728 $16,199 44 %
Percentage of net revenues%%
Sales and marketing expense increased by 44% or $16.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019. The increase was primarily due to $11.4 million of higher personnel-related expenses as a result of our efforts to improve customer experience by hiring additional employees to reduce the average call wait time for customers, as well as support our business growth in the U.S. and international expansion in Europe, and $5.5 million for a combination of higher marketing expenses, professional services, advertising costs and facilities costs to enable business growth, partially offset by $0.7 million reduction in travel expenditure as we implemented travel restrictions prohibiting all non-essential business travel and converting where possible our in-person sales, trainings and marketing events to virtual-only due to COVID-19.
General and Administrative
Years Ended December 31,
Change in
20202019
$
%
(In thousands, except percentages)
General and administrative
$50,694 $38,808 $11,886 31 %
Percentage of net revenues%%
General and administrative expense increased 31% or $11.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the same period in 2019. The increase was primarily due to $7.9 million of higher personnel-related expenses, $2.8 million of other operational, technological and facilities costs to support scalability of our business growth and $1.6 million of higher legal and professional services, partially offset by $0.4 million reduction in travel expenditures as we implemented travel restrictions prohibiting all non-essential business travel in response to COVID-19.
Restructuring Charges
Years Ended December 31,
Change in
20202019
$
%
(In thousands, except percentages)
Restructuring charges
$— $2,599 $(2,599)(100)%
We completed our 2018 restructuring plan in 2019, hence we incurred no restructuring expenses during the year ended December 31, 2020. Restructuring charges for 2019 primarily include $1.6 million in cash-based severance and related benefits and $1.1 million in non-cash charges for impaired assets, partially offset by a $0.1 million reduction in lease loss reserves due to adoption of ASC 842 Leases.    
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Other Expense, Net
Years Ended December 31,
Change in
20202019
$
%
(In thousands, except percentages)
Interest income$2,156 $2,513 $(357)(14)%
Interest expense(21,001)(9,691)(11,310)117 %
Other expense, net(3,836)(5,437)1,601 (29)%
Change in fair value of derivatives$(44,348)$— $(44,348)**
Total other expense, net$(67,029)$(12,615)$(54,414)(431)%
**    Not meaningful
Interest income of $2.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 decreased, as compared to $2.5 million in the same period in 2019, primarily due to significant decline in interest rates earned on cash balances, partially offset by a higher average cash balance earning interest in the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 and approximately $0.6 million accrued interest on refunds for tariffs previously paid from September 24, 2018 to March 31, 2020 for certain microinverters that qualify for the Tariff Exclusion.
Interest expense of $21.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 primarily includes $20.2 million related to the accretion of the debt discount and debt issuance cost as well as coupon interest incurred associated with our Notes due 2024 and Notes due 2025, $0.5 million of interest expense related to long-term financing receivable recorded as debt and interest expense of $0.2 million related to coupon interest incurred and amortization of debt issuance costs associated with our Notes due 2023. Interest expense of $9.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily includes $4.6 million related to the coupon interest incurred, debt discount and amortization of debt issuance costs with our Notes due 2024, interest expense of $2.7 million related to the repayment of our term loan, interest expense of $1.5 million related to coupon interest incurred and amortization of debt issuance costs associated with Notes due 2023, and $0.9 million of interest expense related to long-term financing receivable recorded as debt.
Other expense, net of $3.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 primarily related to $3.0 million non-cash loss on settlement of $43.9 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 and $0.5 million net loss related to foreign currency exchange and remeasurement. Other expense, net of $5.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily relates to the $6.0 million fees paid for the repurchase and exchange of our Notes due 2023, partially offset by $0.6 million net gain related to foreign currency exchange and remeasurement.
Change in fair value of derivatives of $44.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 primarily includes the charge recognized for the change in fair value of our convertible notes embedded derivative and warrants of $47.6 million and $24.7 million, respectively. This charge is partially offset by a gain recognized for the change in fair value of our convertible notes hedge of $28.0 million. See Note 11, “Debt,” of the notes to consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.
Income Tax Benefit (Provision)
Years Ended December 31,Change in
20202019$
%
(In thousands, except percentages)
Income tax benefit$14,585 $71,034 $(56,449)(79)%
The income tax benefit of $14.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, decreased compared to the income tax benefit of $71.0 million in 2019, primarily due to the valuation allowance release for the year ended December 31, 2019, partially offset by excess tax benefits related to stock-based compensation tax deduction for year ended December 31, 2020. See Note 15. “Income Taxes,” of the notes to consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.
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Liquidity and Capital Resources
Sources of Liquidity
As of December 31, 2020, we had $399.0 million in working capital, including cash and cash equivalents of $679.4 million, of which approximately $659.2 million were held in the U.S. Our cash and cash equivalents primarily consist of U.S. government money market mutual funds and both interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing deposits, with the remainder held in various foreign subsidiaries. We consider amounts held outside the U.S. to be accessible and have provided for the estimated U.S. income tax liability associated with our foreign earnings. However, our liquidity may be negatively impacted if sales decline significantly for an extended period due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While we have experienced delays in collections from certain customers due to COVID-19, we believe we will be able to meet our anticipated cash needs for at least the next 12 months. Further, the extent to which the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and our precautionary measures in response thereto impact our business and liquidity will depend on future developments, which are uncertain and cannot be precisely predicted at this time.
Convertible Notes
Notes due 2023. As of December 31, 2020, we had $5.0 million aggregate principal amount of our Notes due 2023 outstanding. The Notes due 2023 are general unsecured obligations and bear interest at a rate of 4.00% per year, payable semi-annually on February 1 and August 1 of each year. The Notes due 2023 will mature on August 1, 2023, unless earlier repurchased by us or converted at the option of the holders.
Notes due 2024. As of December 31, 2020, we had $88.1 million aggregate principal amount of our Notes due 2024 outstanding. The Notes due 2024 are general unsecured obligations and bear interest at a rate of 1.0% per year, payable semi-annually on June 1 and December 1 of each year. The Notes due 2024 will mature on June 1, 2024, unless earlier repurchased by us or converted at the option of the holders at a conversion price of $20.50 per share.
The Notes due 2024 may be converted on any day prior to the close of business on the business day immediately preceding December 1, 2023, in multiples of $1,000 principal amount, at the option of the holder only under any of the following circumstances: (1) during any calendar quarter commencing after the calendar quarter ending on September 30, 2019 (and only during such calendar quarter), if the last reported sale price of the our common stock for at least 20 trading days (whether or not consecutive) during a period of 30 consecutive trading days ending on, and including, the last trading day of the immediately preceding calendar quarter is greater than or equal to $26.6513 (130% of the conversion price) on each applicable trading day; (2) during the five business day period after any five consecutive trading day period (the “measurement period”) in which the “trading price” (as defined in the relevant indenture) per $1,000 principal amount of notes for each trading day of the measurement period was less than 98% of the product of the last reported sale price of the our common stock and the conversion rate on each such trading day; or (3) upon the occurrence of specified corporate events. Upon conversion of any of the notes, we will pay or deliver, as the case may be, cash, shares of common stock or a combination of cash and common stock, at our election.
From April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021, the Notes due 2024 may be converted because the last reported sale price of our common stock for at least 20 trading days during a period of 30 consecutive trading days ending on March 31, 2020, June, 30, 2020, September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2020 was greater than or equal to $26.6513 on each applicable trading day. Upon conversion of any of the notes, we will pay or deliver, as the case may be, cash, shares of common stock or a combination of cash and common stock, at our election.
In connection with the offering of the Notes due 2024, we entered into privately-negotiated convertible note hedge transactions in order to reduce the potential dilution to our common stock upon any conversion of the Notes due 2024. Also, concurrently with the offering of the Notes due 2024, we entered into privately-negotiated warrant transactions whereby we issued warrants to effectively increase the overall conversion price of Notes due 2024 from $20.5010 to $25.2320.
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From January 1, 2021 through February 12, 2021, we’ve received the request for conversion of approximately $61.5 million in principal amount of our Notes due 2024, of which we have elected to settle the aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 in a combination of cash and any excess in shares of our common stock in accordance with the applicable indenture. Such conversion will be settled in March 2021. We may purchase shares under the convertible note hedge to the extent shares of our common stock are issued for the additional conversion amount due over the principal amount. From January 1, 2021 through February 12, 2021, we had not purchased any shares under the convertible note hedge and the warrants had not been exercised and remain outstanding. If we receive additional request for conversion from the holders of the Notes due 2024 to exercise their right to convert the debt to equity, we have asserted our intent and ability to settle the remaining $26.6 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 in cash.
Notes due 2025. As of December 31, 2020, we had $320.0 million aggregate principal amount of our Notes due 2025 outstanding. The Notes due 2025 are general unsecured obligations and bear interest at a rate of 0.25% per year, payable semi-annually on March 1 and September 1 of each year, beginning on September 1, 2020. The Notes due 2025 will mature on March 1, 2025, unless earlier repurchased by us or converted at the option of the holders at a conversion price of $81.54 per share.
The Notes due 2025 may be converted on any day prior to the close of business on the business day immediately preceding September 1, 2024, in multiples of $1,000 principal amount, at the option of the holder only under any of the following circumstances: (1) during any calendar quarter commencing after the calendar quarter ending on June 30, 2020 (and only during such calendar quarter), if the last reported sale price of the our common stock for at least 20 trading days (whether or not consecutive) during a period of 30 consecutive trading days ending on, and including, the last trading day of the immediately preceding calendar quarter is greater than or equal to $106.00 (130% of the conversion price) on each applicable trading day; (2) during the five business day period after any five consecutive trading day period (the “measurement period”) in which the “trading price” (as defined in the relevant indenture) per $1,000 principal amount of notes for each trading day of the measurement period was less than 98% of the product of the last reported sale price of the our common stock and the conversion rate on each such trading day; or (3) upon the occurrence of specified corporate events. On and after September 1, 2024 until the close of business on the second scheduled trading day immediately preceding the maturity date of March 1, 2025, holders may convert their notes at any time, regardless of the foregoing circumstances. Upon the occurrence of a fundamental change (as defined in the relevant indenture), holders may require the Company to repurchase all or a portion of their Notes due 2025 for cash at a price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the notes to be repurchased plus any accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the fundamental change repurchase date.
From January 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021, the Notes due 2025 may be converted because the last reported sale price of our common stock for at least 20 trading days during a period of 30 consecutive trading days ending on December 31, 2020 was greater than or equal to $106.00 on each applicable trading day. Upon conversion of any of the notes, we will pay or deliver, as the case may be, cash, shares of common stock or a combination of cash and common stock, at our election.
In connection with the offering of the Notes due 2025, we entered into privately-negotiated convertible note hedge transactions in order to reduce the potential dilution to our common stock upon any conversion of the Notes due 2025. The total cost of the convertible note hedge transactions was approximately $89.1 million. Also, concurrently with the offering of the Notes due 2025, we entered into privately-negotiated warrant transactions whereby we issued warrants to acquire shares of our common stock at a strike price of $106.94 rather than the Notes due 2025 conversion price of $81.54. We received approximately $71.6 million from the sale of the warrants.
As of February 12, 2021, the Notes due 2025 were not converted into equity, therefore, we had not purchased any shares under the convertible note hedge and the warrants had not been exercised and remain outstanding. If holders of the Notes due 2025 are able to convert the debt to equity, and exercise that right, we have asserted our intent and ability to settle the $320.0 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2025 in cash.
Cash from operations could be affected by various risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the effects of COVID-19 and other risks detailed in the ‘risk factor’ section in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We believe that our cash flow from operations with existing cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to meet our anticipated cash needs for at least the next 12 months and thereafter for the foreseeable future. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors including our growth rate, the timing and extent of spending to support development efforts, the expansion of sales and marketing activities, the introduction of new and enhanced products, the costs to acquire or invest in complementary businesses and technologies, the costs to ensure access to adequate manufacturing capacity, the continuing market acceptance of our products and
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macroeconomic events such as the impacts from COVID-19. We may also choose to seek additional equity or debt financing. In the event that additional financing is required from outside sources, we may not be able to raise it on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to raise additional capital when desired, our business, operating results, and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Stock Repurchase Program
In April 2020, our board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $200.0 million of our common stock, exclusive of brokerage commissions. Purchases will be completed from time to time in the open market or through structured repurchase agreements with third parties. Such purchases are expected to continue through March 2022 unless otherwise extended or shortened by our board of directors. The timing and amount of repurchases will depend on a variety of factors, including the price of our common stock compared to the intrinsic value, alternative investment opportunities, corporate and regulatory requirements and market conditions. As of December 31, 2020, we have not repurchased any shares under this repurchase program.
Cash Flows. The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods presented:
Years Ended December 31,
20202019
(In thousands)
Net cash provided by operating activities$216,334 $139,067 
Net cash used in investing activities(25,568)(14,788)
Net cash provided by financing activities191,678 65,850 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash826 (257)
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents$383,270 $189,872 
Cash Flows from Operating Activities
Cash flows from operating activities consist of our net income adjusted for certain non-cash reconciling items, such as stock-based compensation expense, change in the fair value of derivatives, deferred income tax benefit, loss on conversion of Notes due 2024, depreciation and amortization, and changes in our operating assets and liabilities. Net cash provided by operating activities increased by $77.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily due to an increase in our gross profit as a result of increased revenue, $24.8 million cash received of the total tariff refund request of $39.5 million, partially offset by higher operating expenses as we continue to invest in the long-term growth of our business and also by $3.1 million cash repayment deemed as an amount paid for settlement of $43.9 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 accreted debt discount. For more detail on tariff refund request, refer Note 12. “Contingencies” in “Commitments and Contingencies,” of the notes to consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.
Cash Flows from Investing Activities
For the year ended December 31, 2020 net cash used in investing activities was primarily from $20.6 million used in purchases of test and assembly equipment to expand our supply capacity, related facility improvements and information technology enhancements, and capitalized costs related to internal-use software and $5.0 million payment related to the acquisition of equity investment in a private company.
For the year ended December 31, 2019, net cash used in investing activities was primarily used in purchases of test and assembly equipment to expand our supply capacity, related facility improvements and information technology enhancements, and capitalized costs related to internal-use software.
Cash Flows from Financing Activities
For the year ended December 31, 2020, net cash provided by financing activities of $191.7 million was primarily from $312.4 million net proceeds from the issuance of our Notes due 2025, $71.6 million from sale of warrants related to our Notes due 2025, $8.4 million net proceeds from employee stock option exercises and issuance of common stock under our employee stock incentive program, partially offset by $89.1 million purchase of convertible note bond hedge related to our Notes due 2025, $68.3 million payment of employee withholding taxes related to net share settlement of equity awards, $40.7 million settlement of $43.9 million in aggregate principal amount of the Notes due 2024 and $2.6 million of repayment on sale of long-term financing receivables.
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For the year ended December 31, 2019, net cash provided by financing activities of $65.9 million was primarily from $127.4 million net proceeds from the issuance of our Notes due 2024, $29.8 million from sale of warrants, $5.0 million net proceeds from employee stock option exercises and issuance of common stock under our employee stock incentive program, partially offset by $45.9 million repayment of our term loan and long-term financing receivable recorded as debt, $36.3 million purchase of bond hedges related to our Notes due 2024, $6.0 million fee paid to repurchase and exchange $60.0 million of Notes due 2023 and $8.2 million payment of employee withholding taxes related to net share settlement of equity awards.
Contractual Obligations
The following table summarizes our outstanding contractual obligations as of December 31, 2020:
Payments Due by Period
Total20212022-20232024-2025Beyond 2025
(in thousands)
Operating leases$23,875 $5,830 $8,733 $5,344 $3,968 
Notes due 2023 principal and interest5,600 200 5,400 — — 
Notes due 2024 principal and interest (1)
89,180 61,822 592