Regardless of the many good news and developments around hydrogen, there must of course also be a critical consideration of the aspects that may, for example, hinder or delay rapid build-up of production capacity. In addition to adverse influences due in part to misunderstood or counterproductive regulatory measures (EU/Germany) are aspects such as the shortage of skilled workers, supply chain problems and financing.
FuelCell Energy should actually have generated a quarterly turnover of over 30 million USD in the second quarter, ending April 30th (fiscal year), but it was by then only about 16 million USD with a stated loss in the amount of about 31 million USD, or minus 0.08 USD per share. The management board nevertheless believes that they are on track to achieve a turnover of 300 million USD by 2025, and 1 billion USD by 2030. The order backlog was almost unchanged at about 1.3 billion USD. In the bank lies a formidable 490 million USD, for which a multitude of share placements (64 million new shares) is responsible – in proportion to the stock exchange value of 1.4 billion USD, a healthy basis, even if the question arises as to how these share placements were justified.
Now it has come to the final step with the loss-making Siemens Gamesa: Siemens Energy will fully integrate the 67.1% subsidiary, as was to be expected. The parent company is buying the remaining shares via a takeover bid for 18.05 EUR per share. As interim financing, a loan in the amount of 4 billion EUR was taken, which will surely be refinanced through the issuance of treasury shares – there’s talk of up to 2.5 billion EUR. Now, there can be – as similarly put in some commentaries – a crackdown, as not all figures at the subsidiary were so transparent and some calculations are now being reconsidered.
Huge news has reached us regarding Plug Power: H2 Energy Europe has contracted Plug for an electrolysis capacity in the amount of 1 GW. A complex is to be built in Denmark and the regenerative electricity generated via wind power. The goal is to produce 100,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year, which is to be used primarily in hydrogen-powered trucks, specifically to fuel 150,000 of them per day.
It’s been over a year now since Burckhardt Compression has been discussed here. In the meantime, the share price rose from 300 CHF to over 500 CHF, with a reaction (profit-taking?) occurring only recently. Shares will continue to move in accordance with the figures and prospects: Order volume rose sharply by 44.3 percent from the previous year to 1 billion CHF. Turnover in 2021 amounted to 650.7 million CHF and is to reach (planned) 720 to 760 million CHF this year, far outpacing the 700 million CHF originally targeted. Shareholders can rejoice, as they will see a planned 15.4% dividend increase to 7.50 CHF, if the proposal of the board is accepted. Basis is an increase in earnings per share to 14.82 CHF from 13 CHF, which corresponds to an impressive payout ratio of nearly 50 percent. Especially from markets related to hydrogen, great growth opportunities are expected. With 242.9 million CHF in equity and thus a ratio of 29 percent, the company is well positioned.
The future prospects of Bloom are fully intact and unchanged (over 30% growth p. a.) and allow for a very positive outlook: for 2022, over 1.1 billion USD turnover, cash flow positive, gross profit margin of 24% and on the way to the profit zone with strongly increasing backlog of orders and new complementary fields of activity (e.g. electrolysis). The first quarter, with a turnover of 201 million USD and a stated loss of 78.4 million USD (contains 26.3 million USD stock-based compensation), or minus 0.44 USD per share (GAAP), was disappointing at first glance. Large material deliveries to key customer SK ecoplant in South Korea was one reason for it.
It is unfortunately so: There are many traders and short sellers, but also some analysts, who do not focus on the prospects of a company, but take quarterly results as the basis for classification – a very short-term placement, but of course with a (short-term) impact on the share price performance. We’re also seeing this with Ballard, for which I often hear that the turnover is disproportionate to the stock market valuation and that the company is still making losses.
The company is about to enter a phase of exponential, long-term growth, is my interpretation of the earnings call on March 14, 2022 regarding the 2021 annual figures and the fourth quarter. Year 2023 should really start off with Ballard reaping the fruits of years of intensive research and development, various pilot projects and building up production capacities. The Canadian company is working on scaling production capacity in the target markets bus, truck, rail and ship. But that doesn’t happen overnight.
Finally: FuelCell Energy has agreed and settled with South Korean company Posco. FuelCell is now independent from Posco again and can pursue other opportunities in Asia. The company figures of FuelCell Energy are not yet very convincing, given the last quarterly results: a measly 14 million USD turnover. Although there are pending orders of 1.29 billion USD in the books, so far seemingly few new orders are coming in. The cooperation with ExxonMobil was extended once again, but with no new conditions to report.
The plans are huge: three sites are to start production already this year. The first target for the current fiscal year is 70 tonnes of hydrogen per day. This should enable a profit margin of 30 percent. Of this, 40 to 50 tonnes per day are needed for existing activities and 20 to 30 t/day will be brought to market as a tradable commodity, is my expectation.