The contrasts are stark. Solar panel optimizer leader SolarEdge just posted a record-revenue quarter with an outlook for continued growth, while microinverter leader Enphase just revealed a disappointing revenue and margin outlook for the next quarter.

Both companies fall in the broader (and growing) market category of module-level power electronics (MLPE). The competition is not really SolarEdge versus Enphase as much as it is traditional string inverters versus MLPE.

SolarEdge stats from the current quarter:

  • Record revenue of $115.1 million, up 16.9 percent from last quarter and 71.8 percent year-over-year
  • GAAP gross margin was 29.1 percent
  • GAAP net income was $14.4 million, up from $9.3 million in the prior quarter
  • The company shipped 356 megawatts (AC) of inverters 

That's three consecutive profitable quarters as a public company for SolarEdge.

Guidance for the next quarter:

  • Revenues of $118 million to $121 million
  • Gross margins of 28 percent to 30 percent

Guidance was ahead of consensus.

MJ Shiao, GTM's director of solar research, has noted, "Globally, we see a huge opportunity for module-level power electronics, growing from less than 4 percent of global annual inverter shipments in 2014 to more than 11 percent by 2018. In 2015, we expect total combined MLPE shipments to well exceed 2 gigawatts. Furthermore, we expect the U.S. residential market to continue growing at 50 percent to 55 percent year-over-year ahead of the federal Investment Tax Credit cliff in 2017 -- a strong foundation and growth opportunity for MLPE vendors."

Avondale Partners says SolarEdge "shipments of 356 MW (+25% q/q, +102% y/y) demonstrated a re-acceleration of growth and suggests the company's market share expansion, which appeared to stall in C2Q, resumed in the September Q." SolarEdge has a market cap of $740 million. Enphase's market cap is $166 million.

Shares of SolarEdge are up 24 percent today.