What happened

Shares of Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) have been on a fairly steady decline since the company announced on March 15 that it would restate three years' worth of its prior financial statements. From that point, the stock had fallen by around 50%. But Plug Power came out with that restatement Monday, just one business day before its May 17 deadline, and investors reacted by sending its shares up by more than 15% as of 10:10 a.m. EDT.

So what

The hydrogen fuel cell maker was forced to delay its 2020 annual report while it did the necessary work to restate financial items going back to 2018. That also caused its first-quarter 2021 update to be delayed. Plug Power on Monday reiterated a previous statement that these restatements did not affect the company's cash position, business operations, or return from commercial agreements.

Plug Power liquid hydrogen tanker

Image source: Plug Power.

Plug Power now says its 2020 net revenue was $7.2 million, which compares to a previously reported net loss of more than $100 million. But previously reported 2019 net revenue of $230 million was adjusted to a revenue loss of $300,000. The adjustments for non-cash items still didn't change the fact that the company's earnings per share (EPS) has yet to move into positive territory. 

Now what

The financial items in question included loss accruals for certain service contracts, asset impairments, reported book value of certain assets and liabilities, and shifting the classification of certain costs from research and development expense to cost of revenue. 

Plug Power has announced several strategic arrangements related to growing the green hydrogen economy in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. As Plug President and CEO Andy Marsh said in a statement, "We remain committed to long-term value creation and executing on our mission to build out the hydrogen economy in North America and beyond. We continue to have great confidence in the growth trajectory of the business."

The company did say it had identified a material weakness in its internal controls over financial reporting, and said that it has already begun to resolve it. Investors should expect to see Plug Power release its first-quarter 2021 results on Monday. 

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.