What happened

Plug Power (PLUG -5.25%) is looking pretty electric this morning, rising 17.5% through 11:20 a.m. EDT trading in the wake of an early-morning earnings report that showed the fuel cell maker beating earnings estimates with a stick.

Expected to lose $0.10 per share on sales of no more than $59.5 million in Q2 2020, Plug just reported that it lost only $0.03 per share -- and did $68.1 million in business.  

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Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Granted, a loss is still a loss. But Plug's per-share loss in Q2 2020 was barely a third of its $0.08-per-share loss in Q2 2019.  

Granted, too, part of the reason Plug's per-share loss was lower, was because it was divided up among many more shares outstanding. Plug diluted its shareholders heavily over the past year, with its shares outstanding count jumping 37%. But even undivided, the total of $8.7 million Plug lost this past quarter was less than half the company's $18.1 million quarterly loss of last year.

Now what

On top of all that, Plug issued new near-term guidance for $110 million to $115 million in "gross billings" in Q3 2020 (up about 55% over Q2 levels), and reaffirmed its very-long-range objective of growing to $1.2 billion in annual revenue, and $200 million in operating profit, by 2024.

2024 may be a long way off, but Plug says it's "on track" to deliver those numbers.