A day before the second annual symposium that Plug Power ($PLUG) is organizing, we look back on the developments of the company in the past weeks. The aim of this symposium is to join hands with partners in a quest to promote sustainable solutions and the hydrogen and fuel cell industry, among other strategies and activities. Interesting for the shareholders is that Plug Power has indicated it will provide insight into the progress of the objectives for 2024, including the announcement that the strategic map will be shared with the audience.

What makes Plug Power so interesting

For those who have not heard of this company before, simply put: Plug Power is the pioneer in the pursuit of a sustainable world in which cars run on hydrogen instead of electricity from batteries. It has a strong market position for those who believe in a future in which the car industry will look for alternatives such as hydrogen fuel cells (HFC). In addition, the company already knows vehicles – especially lift trucks – that use Plug Power’s technology. On the other hand, the weakness of the company is that it doesn’t contain a profitable character, which is not the best position at a time of the global pandemic and recession.

Still, the company and the PLUG-share have a lot of interest on the stock market. Despite criticism that it has no profit history, the company continues to develop well by conquering new markets, strategic acquisitions and focusing on vertical integration. Plug Power has a strong following, because their technology represents the potential of hydrogen to meet climate obligations, improve energy security and unlock new value for companies. This is not only environmentally conscious, but broader mobility applications can also be realized through the generation of green hydrogen.

Announcement of new partnership at the right time

The fact that it is not only mobility ‘on the ground’ that is interested in hydrogen fuel technology, is reconfirmed today as Plug Power and fuel logistics company Universal Hydrogen announced a collaboration in the aviation market. They will jointly research a hydrogen fuel cell-based propulsion system with which the possibilities of commercial flights on hydrogen are studied. The partnership is part of Plug Power’s strategy to deploy its hydrogen ProGen fuel cell technology in new markets. Its main objective is to certify and operate the world’s first 2 megawatt hydrogen-electric aircraft propulsion system.

This mission is a first step towards a complete ecosystem for the aviation market, from powertrain to hydrogen solutions. Previously, Universal Hydrogen announced an agreement with MagniX, through which it wants to develop a retrofit conversion kit. Universal Hydrogen is the owner of a modular hydrogen distribution system and fuel cell delivery system, now bundling essential expertise with that of Plug Power and MagniX. The companies are confident that the technology will enable a converted medium-sized regional turbojet aircraft to travel 1,000km using hydrogen technology, currently covering 90 percent of existing commercial routes in the United States.

New markets, new opportunities

Not only aviation is a new market that Plug Power likes to explore. In August of this year, it was reported that the company is developing a fuel cell system for robotics and drone applications. A new 1kW ProGen fuel cell system was announced that would even serve various aerospace applications. The new ProGen 1kW fuel cell system is protected by five US patents and is one of five sub-2kW products offered by the company. It is described as a larger and more powerful version of the ProGen 450W.

The numbers and a final note

The last time Plug Power published its quarterly figures was on August 6 of this year. Earnings per share for the quarter of $0.03 was reported, surpassing the analyst consensus estimates of $0.10 by $0.07. Plug Power had a negative return on equity of 70.36 percent and a negative net margin of 33.33 percent. In that quarter, the company posted sales of $68.07 million, which exceeded analysts’ expectations estimated at $56.51 million. The company’s sales for the quarter were up 18.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a result, in the same month a strong majority of analysts had changed the hold-rating to a buy-rating. Think of big names such as: Morgan Stanley, Barclays, BidaskClub, Odeon Capital Group and ValuMotor.

That this upward trend could not be continued was shown last Monday, when the share fell and also did not yield a good result the next day. This is not due to negative news, as analysts believe the reason can be found in the fact that the company has not released any remarkable news on their projects in the last couple weeks. The serious allegations of fraud against the boss of Nikola had a negative effect on the entire industry. Investors are not unlikely to use the current situation to translate profits into action. Although Plug Power is hardly affected by the fraud allegations surrounding Nikola, it can put some investors in uncertainty. Tomorrow’s symposium is therefore an essential moment, which will most likely have an effect on Plug Power’s share and activity in the coming months. Besides all the speculation, one thing is certain, tomorrow it will be more than necessary to keep a close eye on the developments of Plug Power’s symposium.

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By Omar