Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Shares of Plug Power Sank 20% in July

By Scott Levine – Aug 3, 2021 at 12:28PM

Key Points

  • Investors shrugged off analysts' favorable ratings of the stock.
  • The progress of fuel cell peers is worrying investors.

Motley Fool Issues Rare “All In” Buy Alert

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The company didn't report anything catastrophic this month. So what worried investors?

What happened

Beginning the summer on a bullish note, shares of Plug Power (PLUG 1.62%) jumped in June, but the market's excitement for the fuel cell stock wasn't sustained in July -- a month during which the stock fell 20%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Although analysts at Citigroup and Seaport Global both initiated coverage on Plug Power's stock last month, assigning it a buy rating, investors weren't motivated enough to pick up shares. Between the company failing to provide details about a new deal and competition ramping up among hydrogen-focused companies, investors felt the clouds were hanging too heavily on this familiar fuel cell name. 

A concerned woman bites her pen and looks at a computer screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

On July 14, Plug Power reported that it will collaborate with Apex Clean Energy on developing a green-hydrogen production facility. The market, however, didn't celebrate the news. Plug Power failed to provide insight into the financial details of the partnership, suggesting to investors that the deal won't be material to its finances.

Plug Power has long touted the massive opportunity that the burgeoning hydrogen economy represents. But competitors aren't sitting by complacently and letting Plug Power charge ahead uncontested -- and that troubled the company's investors last month.

An upstart manufacturer of fuel cell vehicles, Hyzon Motors (HYZN 0.61%), reported several developments last month that investors interpreted as a growing threat for Plug Power's ambition to expand into the transportation market. For one, Hyzon reported that it agreed on a memorandum of understanding with an Australian manufacturer to produce and supply 20 trash collection vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Additionally, Hyzon announced that it's collaborating with Chart Industries to develop heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

But it's not only Hyzon that pressured Plug Power's stock last month. Ballard Power Systems reported positive news, including the sale of its fuel cell modules for use in electric buses and an electric train.

Now what

It's understandable why the bears woke up last month. The lack of details regarding the Apex Clean Energy deal certainly suggests that it won't electrify the company's earnings as investors would've hoped. Regarding the growing competition, though, investors' fears seem to be overblown. There will be plenty of winners as the hydrogen economy grows.

Nonetheless, investors will certainly want to pay close attention to the company's second-quarter 2021 earnings report for further insights.

Citigroup is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Scott Levine has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Chart Industries. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Plug Power Stock Quote
Plug Power
PLUG
$15.73 (1.62%) $0.25
Ballard Power Systems Stock Quote
Ballard Power Systems
BLDP
$6.10 (0.16%) $0.01
HYZON Motors Inc Stock Quote
HYZON Motors Inc
HYZN
$1.65 (0.61%) $0.01

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

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
356%
 
S&P 500 Returns
118%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.