Bloom Energy (BE -3.16%) stock has kicked off 2022 on a somber note, with shares of the fuel cell specialist dropping 11.4% through the first week of January as of 12:30 p.m. ET Friday, Jan. 7, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Bloom Energy is getting a lot of love from the analyst community, but the market doesn't seem convinced yet.
On Jan. 5, KeyBanc Capital analyst Leo Mariani released a bullish note on fuel cell stocks, projecting fuel cell companies in the U.S. to benefit from a "rapidly growing market for their services as fuel cell adoption is poised to accelerate this decade," as reported by TheFly.com. Mariani further estimates the total fuel cell addressable market to be worth a whopping $300 billion by 2030, and sees potential in fuel cell companies to grow revenue by between 20% and 80% in 2022 alone.
Due to his optimism on the fuel cell industry, Mariani upgraded Bloom Energy stock's rating to overweight with a price target of $30 a share. The stock was hovering just above $21 a share on Jan. 5. Among other things, Bloom Energy's strong list of partners and financial fortitude caught the analyst's attention.
Just days before 2021 ended, analyst Pavel Molchanov from Raymond James also picked Bloom Energy as a top energy pick for 2022, citing its growth potential in Europe in particular.
Why then is Bloom Energy stock falling? As my colleague Rich Smith highlighted, investors perhaps aren't buying into Mariani's ambitious forecast of the fuel cell industry growing to a size of $300 billion by the end of the decade.
There's another reason why fuel cell stocks have been under pressure: President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act, which earmarked more than $500 billion on renewable energy including hydrogen, is stalled after it was rejected by Sen. Joe Manchin in December. Investors in stocks like Bloom Energy were betting big on the legislation to drive growth opportunities for the company.
Among all hydrogen and fuel cell stocks, Bloom Energy's products have found the highest number of takers so far. The reason is simple: Bloom Energy's fuel cell energy servers generate electricity from renewables and can supply uninterrupted power. It's a compelling combination that not only helps companies adopt clean energy but also secure a reliable source of power. That might explain why Bloom Energy counts some of the biggest global companies among its customers, including FedEx, Adobe, Walmart, Honda, and Intel, to name a few.
Bloom Energy has recently signed deals worth several billion dollars and expects to inch closer to generating positive cash from operations in 2022. Its progress on that front, and not macro concerns, will likely decide where the stock is headed from here.