If you own shares of fuel cell stocks, chances are you're going to have a very bad day today. As of noon EST, Plug Power (PLUG -3.68%) was down 6.1%, Ballard Power Systems (BLDP -1.60%) was down 7.4%, and FuelCell Energy (FCEL 0.87%) was down an astonishing 11.7%.
If you own Bloom Energy (BE -0.46%) stock, on the other hand, there's still hope. Bloom shares are actually up 0.6% right now, although they've been bouncing around quite a bit.
In a complex series of downgrades and stock initiations, Wall Street's tone on fuel cell stocks turned decidedly negative this morning.
The day began with investment bank JPMorgan cutting its rating on FuelCell stock to neutral and initiating coverage of Plug Power stock with the same. According to media reports, JPMorgan considers Plug stock "fully valued" after its incredible 1,558% run-up in price over the last 12 months. Although JP says Plug is in fact its "top pick in the hydrogen space," and a "first- and fast-mover ... with proven technology to pursue a massive market opportunity," the stock is worth only $60, but costs closer to $66.
The situation for FuelCell is even worse. Despite its "strong backlog and a strengthened balance sheet," JP calls this one not just fairly valued but "richly valued" -- costing $17 but worth only $10 a share -- and has therefore downgraded FuelCell to underweight (i.e., sell).
At Ballard, meanwhile, it's not JPMorgan that's the problem, but everybody else. National Bank downgraded Ballard stock to sector perform (that's hold to you and me), and TD Securities cut it to hold as well, citing a too-high stock price.
Now, not all of today's news is entirely bad. Take Ballard for example. Both National Bank and TD downgraded the stock, true, but National raised its price target on Ballard shares to $38 in response to the stock's run-up, and TD upped Ballard to $40 for the same reason. Despite the more conservative ratings, therefore, at its current share price of $34, National Bank is actually predicting that Ballard will move 12% higher over the course of the next 12 months, and TD is predicting an 18% gain.
Finally, JPMorgan has reiterated its neutral rating on Bloom Energy, but raised its price target on the stock to $35. Granted, Bloom already sells for nearly $39 a share, so there wouldn't appear to be as much upside in this one -- in fact, JP seems to be predicting the stock will fall this year. Still, the analyst notes that alone among the fuel cell stocks, Bloom shares at least don't trade for "nosebleed forward multiples."
In a market as crazy as this one, that almost makes it a value stock.