What happened

Shares of Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) stock got a big boost from the analysts at Morgan Stanley this morning, and are running up 11.8% (through 11:50 a.m. EDT) in response.  

This morning, the investment bank upgraded shares of the hydrogen fuel cell pioneer to "overweight" with a $14 price target. After today's run-up, Plug stock is already within $1 of that goal.

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Image source: Getty Images.

So what

So what did Morgan Stanley say to spark today's rally? "Fuel cell vehicle sales to Linde, Apex partnership to secure cheap US renewable power ... and strong progress in electrolyzer technology" were just three catalysts Morgan Stanley sees leading to revenue growth, and Plug's promised $1.2 billion in profitable sales by 2024.

Now what

Additionally, the analysts see Plug expanding its business in Europe, where Barron's magazine is predicting the EU will invest "hundreds of billions of euros in technologies enabling it to get a substantial share of its energy from hydrogen by 2050."

Admittedly, a lot of things can change between now and a goal that's set 30 years away. Hydrogen use as a fuel source could take off sooner than that -- or not at all. In the meantime, however, Plug has a 30-year cushion during which it can repeatedly cite the EU's promise as something that will benefit its business in the future. In the absence of profits, the "story" of an approaching hydrogen future may be enough to keep Plug stock chugging along.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.