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Why Blink Charging, Pivotal Investment, and Plug Power Stocks Jumped Today

By Rich Smith – Sep 18, 2020 at 1:01PM

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It's a busy day for alternative energy investors.

What happened

Friday is shaping up to be a busy day for investors in renewable energy stocks, as shares of electric-vehicle (EV) charging company Blink Charging (BLNK -6.30%), hydrogen fuel cell stock Plug Power (PLUG -2.85%), and a newcomer to the scene, Pivotal Investment (PIC), all charge higher today.

As of 10:20 a.m. EDT, Blink shares were up a strong 6%, Plug Power had gained 5.7%, and Pivotal Investment was beating them both by rising 16.7%.

Three colorful arrows racing straight up on a black background

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

In the case of Blink, investors are reacting to the company's announced acquisition of Los Angeles-based BlueLA Carsharing, which operates 200 EV charging stations and manages a fleet of 100 EVs in the city.  

Blink noted that the acquisition "doubles the number of Blink stations in Los Angeles ... the epicenter for EV adoption." The company did not explain how big an impact this acquisition will have on its revenue (which is currently pretty minimal, with just $4.3 million booked over the past year). Management did say, however, that it plans considerable enhancements to BlueLA's infrastructure, so whether or not revenue moves much, Blink's costs are likely to rise.

So far as I can tell, there's nothing much behind today's move at Plug Power aside from the usual volatility. On the other hand, Plug stock is up a strong 14.4% this week on no news, so it's possible there is something happening under the hood and we just don't know about it yet.

Now what

And now, let's look at Pivotal Investment. If you've never heard of it, that's not surprising. Pivotal is a special purpose acquisition company, (SPAC), a company formed for the sole purpose of acquiring another company and taking it public in a reverse merger IPO.

And in fact, that's just what Pivotal is doing. Today the company announced that it will acquire privately held electrified-powertrain company XL Fleet and turn it into a $1 billion public company that will begin trading sometime in Q4 2020.

In its announcement, Pivotal said that XL creates electric powertrain solutions for commercial fleets built by such automotive majors as Ford, GM, and Isuzu. These are in turn incorporated into the delivery fleets of such customers as FedEx, Coca-Cola, the City of Boston, and Harvard University.

Pivotal sees XL as a leading growth company in the renewable energy space, with $21 million in forecast revenue this year, which is expected to triple to $75 million next year. At an implied valuation of nearly 50 times next year's sales, it's debatable how well this investment will turn out for investors in the long term.

As for today, however, it seems to be working out quite well.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends FedEx. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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