Image source: Plug Power.

What: Shares of Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) jumped 11% in February after the company announced a major production expansion.

So what: Management added a second shift at its Latham, NY factory, which it said will allow the company to double production. This is expected to also reduce overtime and long-term costs for the company as it moves toward a goal of breakeven by the end of 2016.  

However, this isn't all great news for Plug Power. The company still needs more funding, and it recently agreed to a $30 million term loan facility with a 12% interest rate, which is incredibly high no matter how you slice it.  

Now what: Plug Power's shares are still up and down depending on the mood of the market, and the company hasn't yet reached its stride operationally. We simply don't know if it will be able to break even by the end of the year, or whether it will be able to continue growth in the future.

I'm bullish on the long-term potential for fuel cells, but until we see if Plug Power can make money, this is a high-risk stock that I can't recommend in good conscience. Debt investors, too, see that risks abound: hence the 12% interest rate on its newly issued debt.

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.