What happened 

Shares of fuel-cell company Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BLDP -2.23%) fell as much as 20.2% today after reporting third-quarter results. There wasn't much of a bounce off the lows as the day went on, with shares down 19% at 2:05 p.m. EDT.

So what

Revenue was down 32% in the quarter, to $21.6 million, and net loss jumped to $6 million, or $0.03 per share. Analysts were expecting $31.3 million in revenue and only a $0.02 per-share loss, so results were very disappointing based on these metrics. 

Hydrogen graphic on a floor.

Image source: Getty Images.

Lower heavy-duty product sales and the lack of a one-time benefit from China were blamed for the drop in revenue. What's clear is that revenue isn't growing like management had hoped for at this point in its life cycle.

Now what

The challenge right now is that Ballard Power Systems is starting to run out of cash as losses mount. Cash on hand was $23.2 million at the end of the quarter, down 34% from just one quarter ago. That could drive the need for a dilutive stock offering or maybe a debt offering -- and both things haven't made investors happy in the past.

If Ballard can't turn operations around, it will continue to drop. I don't see a reason to be bullish on the stock given the direction in which operations are heading.