There has been a stark rise in the valuation of the business from around USD 100 million to now over USD 9 billion, with the stock price increasing from USD 1 – USD 2 to USD 29. I would go so far as to call it totally excessive. I got early wind of FuelCell Energy [Nasdaq: FCEL] as a turnaround after a management consultancy had “cleaned it up” and after the company had undergone a period of refinancing and restructuring and happily onboarded Orion Energy Partners as a key investor.
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.
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.
Since the beginning of the year, the fuel cell stocks covered in this issue had seen a fast uptrend, which ended with the spread of Covid-19 around the world. Fears over the impact of the disease on the global economy meant some gains were quickly lost. Still, in light of increased news coverage, multiple project announcements and the growing popularity of green hydrogen, it has become clear that hydrogen and fuel cells are entering the mainstream and their breakthrough into the market is approaching rapidly.
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.
The reports are coming thick and fast: Chinese companies and some provinces are planning to initially invest US$17 billion in hydrogen technology. A master plan already provides for 1 million FC vehicles on the country’s roads in 2030.
The momentum for the fuel cell is constantly improving with increasing dynamics. Recent co-operations such as those between Bosch and PowerCell, but also positive statements on fuel cells from automobile manufacturers such as Audi are attracting attention. Will China be the driver again, as it was when the batteries were introduced and before that in the field of renewable energies? There, new funding guidelines are about to be introduced, which are intended to favour and strongly promote the fuel cell and the hydrogen infrastructure, while the subsidies for purely battery-operated vehicles will, depending on the radius, be abolished in full or to a large extent.
November 2015 saw the publication of the Fuel Cell Industry Review 2015, including market data and analyses for 2015. Since 2014, a team led by E4tech had contacted fuel cell companies around the globe, aggregated their supply figures and can now show the latest trends in the industry, much as Fuel Cell Today had done before its survey came to a halt. The following will present some excerpts from the review.