Shares of Ballard Power Systems (BLDP -0.85%) jumped as much as 20.6% in trading today on some good news from China. Shares settled slightly but were still up 14.2% at 11:30 a.m. EST.
China announced that it doesn't have plans to cut new energy vehicle subsidies in July of this year, the time of year it often cuts renewable energy subsidies. Last year, a cut to subsidies in July led to a drop in vehicle sales, so the government is giving some stability to the market by making this announcement now.
Vehicles haven't traditionally been a big market for Ballard but that could change in China. A joint venture it has with Weichai Power recently announced a $19.2 million order for membrane electrode assemblies from Ballard. These assemblies will go in vehicles made in China, so if the market continues to grow, Ballard may be one of the biggest beneficiaries in the U.S.
The news from China is an incremental positive today, but there's no direct news about Ballard that long-term investors should be concerned about. Traders seem to have taken a liking to fuel cell stocks recently and any bit of good news can send a stock higher. That seems to be what's happening today. While I think 2020 could be a very good year for Ballard as the fuel cell business matures and new markets emerge, this isn't a pop I would be buying today.