The reports are overwhelming as far as the areas of application and potential of the fuel cell are concerned, and politicians in Germany have also finally woken up. The stock exchanges have led many FC companies into a real course euphoria. But also, contradictions find their way into the media, according to which China allegedly plans to reduce or even completely discontinue the promotion of battery-powered, but also fuel cell-powered electro-mobility. On the other hand, from a very well-informed source one hears exactly the opposite, namely that precisely the promotion of the fuel cell and the associated infrastructure in China is being set up anew, that only the battery promotion is being limited.
Forget the quarterly figures for Ballard Power this year. They are only important to analysts. The CEO already said at the beginning of the year and recently underlined in a Bloomberg interview that this calendar year will be used to build capacity in China (production of the LCS stacks together with Weichai), among other things, to position themselves, to strengthen the central production and R&D location in Vancouver, to expand the workforce and to tackle pilot projects as a basis for orders.
What a farce it was that shortsellers took advantage of toxic financing (i.e. preference shares convertible into ordinary shares) to depress FuelCell Energy’s share price and at the same time get more and more of the company’s shares onto the market – at least, this is what I think happened not too long ago. In addition, some project financing was subject to conditions that could be considered questionable (e.g. minimum return, guarantees). In addition, bank loans were used as leverage against the company, as reference was made to safety margins and termination clauses, while FuelCell did not approach restricted cash. A vicious circle.
The figures for the third quarter were satisfactory: On balance, earnings per share were $ 0.01, with the quarterly loss being due to stock-based compensation (issuance of shares and options to employees), which is “extraordinary” accounting and non-operating.
Full-bodied it comes from the company Plug Power: In 2024, the company aims to exceed the US$ 1 billion sales hurdle and generate pre-tax profit of US$ 170 million. But there’s still a long way to go. First of all, it was possible to increase the billings (new bookings) by a good US$ 61 million in the third quarter and the annual turnover is expected to be between US$ 235 and 245 million.
I am watching these titles very closely. However, the valuations are now so high – relative to sales, equity, orders on hand – that one should rather remain engaged in the titles I have presented and even put the above-mentioned for sale and cash-in existing book profits. This is an opinion – without commitment – based on the comparison of the indicators. But what is clear: The more investors continue to focus on the fuel cell, the more all companies and their shares will be able to profit from it – the new mega-trend is only now really beginning.
Tesla’s share price rose sharply from US$ 230 to over US$ 360 during the reporting period, after the third quarter did not close with a loss (consensus was a loss of US$ 1.31 per share), but on the contrary with a profit of US$ 143 million (US$ 0.78 per share GAAP). Cash holdings were also maintained at US$ 5.3 billion.
Ballard Power Systems is a pioneer in the fuel cell industry. Since 1983, fuel cells have been developed in the company founded by Geoffrey Ballard in Burnaby near Vancouver. Randy MacEwen has been President & CEO of the Canadian fuel cell manufacturer since 2014. On October 23, 2019, the International Hydrogen Symposium brought him to Hamburg where H2-international seized the opportunity for an interview.
A process of rethinking took place at the political level last year. Even though the energy turnaround has still not progressed noticeably, there is now at least a vision of what a future energy supply could look like. It is becoming increasingly clear that hydrogen will play an important role in this.
The new Fuel Cell Industry Review 2019 withmarket data and analyses was published in January 2020. Since 2014, E4tech’s team has been contacting fuel cell companies worldwide to build it, aggregating their supply figures and creating an independent annual reference point on the current state of the fuel cell industry. Some excerpts are presented below.