Plug Power Earnings Report Brings Pain to Fuel Cell Stocks

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One sub-sector within alternative energy that brings wild rides, and great hopes, is the fuel cell segment. This group can be incredibly volatile around deal announcements. Sometimes shares rise or fall in the double digits. It also turns out that shares can be incredibly volatile around earnings releases as well. Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) is demonstrating how volatile a fuel cell stock can be around earnings — and it is effectively dragging fuel cell players lower as it is the king of fuel cell stocks.

24/7 Wall St. wanted to see just how bad the news was for Plug Power, but we also wanted to see how the reaction is taking down the other fuel cell players. Plug Power’s drop was nearly 14% to $4.38 and its market cap was $733 million.

Plug Power reported its third-quarter earnings Wednesday before the market open as -$0.04 in earnings per share and $19.9 million in revenue. That was against Thomson Reuters consensus estimates of -$0.03 in earnings per share and $24.37 million in revenue. In the third quarter of the previous year it posted -$0.09 in earnings per share and $4.63 million in revenue.

The net loss for the third quarter was $7.46 million, compared to $7.74 million in the same period of the previous year. The main driver of this net loss was the cost of revenue, which came in at $21.0 million, compared to actual revenue of 19.9 million.

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FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) was down almost 4% at $1.95 shortly after the open on Wednesday. FuelCell has a 52-week range of $1.28 to $4.74, and its market cap is now $556 million.

Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDP) was down 3.15 at $2.70 shortly after Wednesday’s opening bell, against a 52-week range of $1.25 to $8.38. Ballard’s market cap is $358 million.

Hydrogenics Corp. (NASDAQ: HYGS) recently saw its shares dip by double-digits after the hydrogen power specialist reported that its third-quarter loss was greater than what was expected. Hydrogenics was trading down marginally right at the open, but shares were then up 1% at $15.20. This stock’s 52-week range is $12.84 to $35.52, and the market cap is the smallest of the lot at $153 million.

Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh commented on the earnings and the company’s goals:

Plug Power continues to exhibit growth and record numbers, quarter after quarter. Our current customer base is seeing value from our products, firsthand, and companies like Newark Farmers Market, BMW and Central Grocers are refreshing their existing GenDrive fleets by reinvesting in more products from Plug Power. That is true validation. I’ve discussed before my belief that ubiquitous hydrogen fuel is the key to rapidly expanding the fuel cell industry. Plug Power’s goal of becoming the worldwide leader in this market was backed by several, purposeful steps in the quarter to move the company closer to market leadership.

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