FuelCell Energy (FCEL 1.72%) saw its power drained Thursday morning, with its stock falling 4.7% through noon ET, after the alternative energy company reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its fiscal second quarter 2022.
Heading into the quarter, analysts had forecast FuelCell would lose only $0.05 per share on sales of $32.6 million. As it turned out, however, its loss was bigger ($0.08 per share) and its sales smaller (just $16.4 million) than anyone had guessed.
The good news is that FuelCell still did manage to grow its revenue -- just not as much as analysts had hoped for. Sales for the fiscal second quarter climbed 17% year over year. Sadly, weakened profit margins meant that gross losses for the quarter also climbed (52%), as did operating losses (up 62%) and of course net losses as well (up 33% year over year at the aforementioned $0.08-per-share loss).
And that's the good news.
Looked at another way, FuelCell's net loss actually rose 59% year over year. The only reason its per share loss grew more slowly was because the company issued more shares -- about 5.4% more over the course of the past year -- thus spreading the loss across more shares outstanding.
Reviewing the results, CEO Jason Few declared that FuelCell is continuing "to execute on our Powerhouse business strategy, and we are very pleased with our progress over the past few months." But given how much more slowly than expected the business grew -- in a market of rising oil prices that seems it can't get enough of alternative fuels, no less -- it's hard to be optimistic about FuelCell's chances at this point.
With losses continuing to mount, and even growing faster than sales in Q1, the chances of FuelCell turning into a profitable operation seem as far away today as ever.