Plug Power Disappoints Investors

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Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) reported first-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Wednesday. The fuel cell maker reported an adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.06 and $5.6 million in revenues. In the same period a year ago, Plug Power reported an EPS loss of $0.13 on revenue of $6.4 million. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for an EPS loss of $0.05 and $5.35 million in revenue.

On a GAAP basis the company posted an EPS loss of $0.57 related to a change in the fair value of previously issued stock warrants worth $68.4 million. This loss will not please investors today.

The company did not provide guidance, but the CEO said that Plug Power is targeting revenue of more than $70 million for the full year. The consensus estimates call for an EPS loss of $0.03 on revenues of $15.45 million for the second quarter and a full-year EPS loss of $0.09 on revenues of $65 million.

Plug Power leaped onto everyone’s radar screen in late February when the company announced that it had a contract to provide more than 1,700 of its fuel-cell powered forklifts to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT). Shares that traded for $0.25 less than a year ago shot up to more than $11. The company has since announced sales to other large firms including Volkswagen and Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). But as the revenue totals and projections indicate, there is more potential than real sales here.

In late April the company sold 22.5 million new shares at $5.50, raising about $116 million and gaining some respect from having the offering underwritten by the likes of Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Cowen and FBR.

The company’s CEO said:

Investments in the sales team, hydrogen generation, hydrogen distribution, geographic expansion and stack technologies are just some of the steps being taken by Plug Power today to build our future. We are targeting over $70 M in revenue for 2014, but these steps are expected to accelerate growth in the upcoming years.

Plug Power has more than $80 million in bookings, more than double its total in 2013, and it expects to ship 650 of its GenKey units in the second quarter.

Shares of Plug Power were down about 5.9% in premarket trading Wednesday, at $3.85 in a 52-week range of $0.22 to $11.72. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $7.75 before the results were announced. Keep in mind only two analysts are covering this stock.

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