What happened

A funny thing happened on the way to midday trading in the stock market today. In the early morning, shares of Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) got torpedoed by a big stock offering at a discounted price, while Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) shares tripped over a (sort of) negative analyst report.

And with those two stocks hobbled, suddenly their rival FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) started to look like a more attractive alternative. By the time 11:20 a.m. EST had rolled around, FuelCell shares were up 11.8%.

Red arrow swoops up and blue arrow swoops down.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Does this make sense? Maybe, maybe not. But the simple fact of the matter is that there's no other "good" news on the wires today to explain FuelCell stock's sudden popularity. No analysts have endorsed the stock, nor have they upgraded it or raised price targets. FuelCell itself hasn't put out any positive press releases in at least a month. For that matter, even industry publications seem mostly silent on the stock today.    

And when you've eliminated all the other options, "whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth," right?

Now what

Of course, this may not bode well for FuelCell stock's continued success. If investors, bullish on the hydrogen economy but temporarily frightened away from the two most famous standard-bearers of the concept -- Plug and Bloom -- are trying to rotate into FuelCell stock as a "safe" alternative, well, they may want to think again.

According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, FuelCell Energy hasn't generated positive operating cash flow since 2018, nor has it reported positive free cash flow since 1998 or a positive full-year profit since ... 1997. Its biggest rival in fuel cells, meanwhile -- Plug Power -- is promising investors positive profits no later than 2024, and it just announced plans to raise nearly $1 billion in cash to help it reach that goal.

From a long-term investing perspective, I really can't see how this makes FuelCell Energy stock look like any more of an attractive investment today than it was yesterday.

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.