It may seem contradictory, since joining an important market index is a very good thing, requiring funds to adjust their holdings. In Tesla’s case, I see at least USD 8 billion would have to be invested through them. I tend to doubt this will automatically lead to a massive increase in valuation. Index funds may already have positions based on a variety of investment vehicles, such as options that can be turned into shares without any relevant influence on the price. Perhaps out of pure contrariness, the stock could turn sour when things are looking their best because analysts, investors and the media see only rising prices, completely ignoring the risks.
FuelCell Energy’s quarterly results weren’t the reason for the year-end price surge from around USD 2 to over USD 11. At times, more than 200 million trades were concluded in one day, which exceeds the total shares outstanding. I believe we’re witnessing the impact of high-frequency or day trades or swarm-like investor activity via, e.g., Robinhood. Right before the rally, Heights Capital Management reported the purchase of 19 million FuelCell shares, giving the private equity firm a 6.7 percent stake in the fuel cell business.
Thinking sustainably about energy and agriculture
What a year we’ve had. Rarely has so much, in such a short time, changed in the energy sector, particularly for the hydrogen industry. For starters, we have witnessed the arrival of a national hydrogen strategy, council and office, a European Green Deal, a European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, RED II and the IPCEI Hydrogen, as well as revisions to the German EEG.
One woman retires, another takes her place: On Oct. 1, 2020, Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, was appointed chairwoman of the German Aerospace Center, DLR. A materials scientist and engineer, she took over for Pascale Ehrenfreund, who had held the position since August 2015. Kaysser-Pyzalla said she is looking forward to “leading such a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary organization.” In addition to developing aviation and aerospace technology, the DLR focuses on research into energy, transportation, safety and security, and digitalization solutions. More than 9,000 people work for a total of 51 DLR institutes at 30 locations in Germany.
In mid-November 2020, diesel and gas engine maker Cummins, which has more than 6,700 employees in Europe, announced plans to erect a production site above Germany’s defunct Ewald mine in Herten. The decision was not surprising. Hydrogenics Germany lies a mere 20 kilometers west of Herten, and Cummins acquired parent company Hydrogenics Corp. in September 2019.
As third-quarter results faded in the rear-view mirror, Bloom Energy stock rebounded with a vengeance following a temporary slump. Natural disasters, including storms and floods, prevented the completion of 41 projects, pushing revenue below the anticipated USD 225 million to USD 200 million, And yet, the company’s USD 12 million in the red means Bloom [NYSE: BE] performed much better than expected. The net loss was “only” USD 0.09 per share instead of USD 0.16 and including non-recurring revenues, that loss shrank to as little as USD 0.04 a share.
In what is known as a bought deal, an underwriter syndicate co-led by investment bank Raymond James has offered Ballard Power [Nasdaq: BLDP] fresh capital for shares. The offer was so popular, the initial USD 250 million target was quickly raised to USD 402.5 million: In late November 2020, the companies agreed on USD 350 million in stock, with an option on another USD 52.5 million, all selling at USD 19.25 per share. Ballard has since exhausted those resources, though more could be on the way soon.
Fuel cell and hydrogen stocks are riding a wave of popularity as a new megatrend sweeps the market. So far, every single one of these stocks has exceeded expectations. But how long will the love affair between investors and the industry last? Will analysts and shareholders use new methods to evaluate business models, prospects, backlogs, submarkets and revenues, and, above all, the potential for profit? And will the market separate the wheat from the chaff? I’d say yes, that will definitely happen.
These days, hydrogen has become a focal point of discussion in Germany and at the highest echelons of the European Union. Gradually, the energy carrier is getting the attention it deserves. At last, despite the roadblocks, a breakthrough is imminent.
A mass market for fuel cell trucks by 2025
Hyzon Motors attracted a great deal of coverage when it announced its intention to build 1,000 fuel cell buses, a move that could revolutionize the transportation industry (see H2-international, August 2020). But the start-up business is also eager to see both heavy-duty and pickup trucks run on hydrogen. To promote its fuel cell vehicles, it recently published several images depicting futuristic truck designs (see fig. 1).