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Plug Power Inc.: Analyst’s Neutral Stance



In recent months, the shares of Plug Power Inc. have experienced significant volatility. Analyst Tom Curran from Seaport Research now recommends a neutral stance on the alternative-energy stock due to the need for more positive signals regarding the clean-hydrogen economy and Plug Power’s financial situation.

The Balanced Risk-Reward Profile

Curran believes that the risk-reward profile for Plug Power is currently “balanced” at its current valuations. While awaiting more positive signals, it is crucial to assess the potential of the clean-hydrogen economy and evaluate Plug Power’s financial circumstances.

Downgraded Rating

On Tuesday, Curran downgraded his rating on the stock from buy to neutral. As a result, shares of Plug Power fell approximately 4% in premarket activity.

Hesitant Development of the Clean Hydrogen Economy

Curran references a recent report from the Hydrogen Council, an association of companies dedicated to advancing clean-energy objectives through hydrogen utilization. According to the report from mid-December, there has been a consistent increase in the overall number of announced investments globally. However, Curran highlights a decline in the percentage of these announcements that have materialized into committed capital.

Triage Required for Plug Power

Curran emphasizes that Plug Power itself needs some “triage” in his view. This indicates that certain measures or interventions are required to address any urgent issues or concerns within the company.

In conclusion, while Seaport Research analyst Tom Curran believes that Plug Power’s risk-reward profile is balanced, additional positive signals regarding the clean-hydrogen economy and the company’s financial situation are needed. Furthermore, he downgraded his rating on the stock from buy to neutral, citing a recent report from the Hydrogen Council and emphasizing the need for further improvement within Plug Power.

Plug Power: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

In the year 2024, Plug Power (PLUG) faces the task of securing external funding while minimizing dilution and reducing its cash-burn rate. Despite expectations that the company will weather this challenging period, doubts remain about its ability to find the most cost-effective and optimal solution.

Beyond the immediate challenges, regaining Wall Street’s trust and achieving profitability are key objectives for PLUG. The company burned approximately $1.85 billion in cash last year, underscoring the need for financial stability.

While some relief is expected for Plug Power’s fuel segment as three plants reach full production, a deeper concern lies in the Services division. With persistent financial woes, this division’s problems remain unclear and warrant attention.

Analysts have varying perspectives on Plug Power’s future. Among the 32 analysts tracked by FactSet, 10 give buy ratings, 18 have neutral ratings, and four rate it as a sell. The average price target of $5.85, reflecting a 35% increase from current levels, adds to the polarizing nature surrounding the company.

As PLUG faces both challenges and opportunities, it must diligently navigate these hurdles to secure its position in the market. The recent shift in analyst sentiment highlights the dynamic nature of the company’s journey towards success.

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