Shares of fuel-cell maker Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDP) jumped as much as 17.2% in trading Wednesday after the company reported progress in its commercial fuel-cell launch in China. At 12:46 p.m. EST, shares had fallen back from their high for the day, but were still up 10.5%.
Ballard announced the planned deployment of 500 fuel-cell-powered commercial trucks in Shanghai. The trucks are already fitted with 30-kilowatt fuel-cell engines and have fuel-cell licenses. As additional fueling stations and service stations are built out, the fleet is expected to hit the roads in earnest to do local delivery in the city later this year.
You may remember that late in January, a short seller published a report that questioned Ballard's operations in China and caused the stock price to plummet. But shares came roaring back after management refuted the short seller's claims; this latest news is another blow to the theory that Ballard is overstating its growth plans in China.
The fleet being deployed in China doesn't guarantee Ballard will become profitable in 2018, but it does show that company's platform continues to grow. And that was enough for investors to push shares higher today.
I think Ballard Power Systems is the best-positioned fuel cell business today, but I would like to see a higher adoption of fuel cells and a profit from the company before jumping on the stock. That's why I'll pass on this bounce today.