Shares of Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) surprisingly tumbled Wednesday morning despite receiving a strong upgrade from an analyst. If that sounds strange, investors are perhaps looking beyond analysts' ratings and weighing the hydrogen fuel-cell stock's prospects after President Joe Biden's clean energy proposals in his multi-trillion dollar infrastructure bill hit a roadblock yesterday.
Plug Power shares were down 2.4% as of 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
This morning, Truist analyst Tristan Richardson raised his price target on Plug Power stock to $36 per share from $29 a share, encouraged by the company's latest outlook. Plug Power is trading just under $33 a share as of the time of this writing.
On Oct. 14, Plug Power held its annual analyst day event, called the Plug Symposium, and guided for annual sales worth $825 million to $850 million for 2022 and $3 billion for 2025.
Richardson believes Plug Power is "uniquely positioned" in the fuel cell market and could penetrate "substantial" addressable market, although he sees interest rate and supply chain risks as potential headwinds to Plug Power's growth right now.
Just last week, Plug Power stock received at least four analyst upgrades soon after its analyst day, with Morgan Stanley giving the stock the highest price target of $43 a share.
However, much of the optimism in renewable energy stocks this year was fueled by potential multi-billion dollar spending on clean energy under the Biden administration.
Although a $1 trillion bipartisan bill passed the Senate in August, a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that includes a $150 billion "clean electricity performance program," or CEPP, to boost renewable energy faced strong opposition on Oct. 19, with some reports even suggesting Biden could water down or abandon CEPP altogether to get the bill passed.
That's not what investors in alternative fuel stocks like Plug Power want to hear.
If there's anything that could help Plug Power and other fuel cell stocks sustain momentum even if Biden's clean energy plans fall through, it's the unmistakable rise in interest in hydrogen fuel-cell technology. Plug Power has announced multiple deals in recent weeks. Just yesterday, Israel-based HevenDrones, which is developing customized hydrogen-fuel drones for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, announced an alliance with Plug Power.
Among global examples, China Yuchai International announced today its subsidiary will form a joint venture to develop and manufacture hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain systems in the Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei markets. A couple of days ago, Britain's INEOS announced an investment worth roughly $2.3 billion to produce green hydrogen in Europe. As long as such news from the green hydrogen and fuel cell world keeps pouring in, investor interest in Plug Power should remain strong.