Stocks in the alternative energy sector moved up dramatically in the last year. Shares of FuelCell Energy (FCEL -0.54%) and Plug Power (PLUG -0.72%) shot up more than 1,200% in the last 12 months, while Bloom Energy (BE 0.45%) stock gained almost 400%.
Now investors are starting to focus more on results as well as potential. Today, after FuelCell Energy reported its first-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings, shares dropped as much as 15%. The stock recouped some of that decline but remained down 5.3% as of noon EDT. Shares of Plug Power and Bloom Energy appear to be declining in sympathy, each down about 4%.
In its earnings release, FuelCell said its net loss increased, and its revenue decreased, from the year-ago period. Both came up short of analyst estimates, according to FactSet. Importantly for investors that have been driving shares up based on future potential, FuelCell said its backlog decreased by 7% year over year.
FuelCell said it is making progress with its plans to move into green energy and hydrogen fuel. President and CEO Jason Few specifically noted the company produced hydrogen with its solid oxide electrolysis platform at its headquarters. Few also commented that the company continued to advance research on its "fuel cell carbon capture solutions."
Plug Power also reported quarterly earnings recently and noted progress in its green energy platforms. Plug management said it believes it is on track to meet recently raised business expectations for both 2021 and 2024. It also revealed plans to build North America's largest green hydrogen plant in western New York State.
Bloom Energy recently released its fourth-quarter 2020 results last month, and though it reported continued net losses, it had encouraging messages for investors. Bloom CEO K. R. Sridhar said the company remains well positioned to continue to "solve critical energy problems like resiliency, reducing carbon emissions and costs."
As noted previously, these stocks have moved up in price significantly in the last year. Investors expect losses to continue in the near term, but there comes a point where the potential future growth becomes overpriced.
Today, particularly with FuelCell's project backlog decreasing, investors are hitting pause on these fuel cell names.