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Why Plug Power, Ballard Power, and (Even) Bloom Energy Stocks Are Flying Today

By Rich Smith - Jan 13, 2021 at 3:28PM

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Fuel cell stocks are still red-hot -- even the ones getting downgraded.

What happened

In today's edition of hydrogen fuel cell stocks gone wild, shares of Plug Power ( PLUG 1.76% ) stock has jumped 4.9% as of noon EST, and Ballard Power Systems ( BLDP 2.57% ) is zooming 7.7% higher. Neither of those are too surprising, given yesterday's news.

But even Bloom Energy ( BE -1.09% ) stock is up 2.4% today, and that is kind of surprising.

Three colorful arrows racing straight up on a black background

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Of the three fuel cell stocks, only Plug has any actual news out today. Yesterday, Plug announced it will form a joint venture with French automaker Renault to build fuel cell vans in Europe. In response, three separate Wall Street analysts have hiked their price targets on the fuel cell maker.

As of today, both B. Riley Securities and Craig-Hallum predict that Plug shares (currently at $71 and change) will end the year at $79. Both analysts recommend buying Plug on news of the new Renault JV, while Riley adds that it sees additional "strong catalysts on the horizon" that could keep Plug powering higher.

Analysts at H.C. Wainwright are even more optimistic, valuing Plug stock at $85 a share, reports, which adds that Wainwright now considers Plug Power the "leading hydrogen and fuel cell play in the world."

Now what

I happen to agree with that assessment. I still believe that fuel cell stocks are woefully overpriced today -- Plug Power included. But with the biggest market capitalization and the deepest cash war chest of any fuel cell company, Plug Power is far and away the least worst stock in this sector.

At the same time, investors seem to see Ballard Power as attractive as well. That could be enthusiasm for Plug stock bleeding over into enthusiasm for all things fuel cell, or it could be enthusiasm specifically about Ballard's announcement yesterday that it will be providing fuel cells for a passenger train pilot project in Scotland.

Bloom Energy is the weird one for me. In contrast to the other fuel cell makers, Bloom suffered a ratings downgrade yesterday when Morgan Stanley predicted the stock will end 2021 at $34 a share. With Bloom already selling for $37, that implies 8% downside to the stock price. Why investors are taking that as a positive for Bloom shares is beyond me.

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.

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Stocks Mentioned

Plug Power Inc. Stock Quote
Plug Power Inc.
$34.05 (1.76%) $0.59
Ballard Power Systems Inc. Stock Quote
Ballard Power Systems Inc.
$13.57 (2.57%) $0.34
Bloom Energy Corporation Stock Quote
Bloom Energy Corporation
$24.45 (-1.09%) $0.27
Renault SA Stock Quote
Renault SA
$32.88 (0.00%) $0.00

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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