Plug Power's (NASDAQ: PLUG) share price fell more than 15% following the Q2 release and no wonder. The timetables for the full commissioning of its flagship green hydrogen-producing plants have been pushed out by at least 2 quarters. That and the mounting losses have raised questions and concerns about capitalization and where the company may find help.
The company is already exploring government-backed avenues and may need to lead on private financing or dilutive action to raise money.
The analysts' response to the Q2 results was tepid but don’t read too much into the chatter. The primary takeaways are concerns with the timetable, cash burn, and cash needs, but the community still supports the company and the market. A half dozen or more analysts have come out with commentary, but only 3 produced revisions of their ratings within the first 24 hours of the release.
Those include 1 lowered price target, 1 reiterated Buy rating, and 1 downgrade with a reduced price target, and there are mitigating factors to offset the bearish data.
Analysts And Institutions Support The Market For Plug Power
The 19 analysts tracked by Marketbeat have been active this year, and their activity has increased since spring. They rate the stock at a Moderate Buy that has held firm and steady for at least the last 1 month. The data has mixed details, including upgrades, downgrades, and price target revisions.
The takeaway from the consensus price target is that it’s down 35% YOY but firm in the near term despite the newly lowered targets. The Marketbeat.com consensus is flat compared to the July reading and more than 115% above the current price action.
Even the lowest price target, set following the Q2 release, is favorable to the market. It is about 30% below the current price but consistent with a bottom in the price action.
That level acted as support in May 2023 and may do so again. May's bottom coincides with an uptick in institutional activity that may come into play again now that shares are retreating to more attractive levels.
The institutions have been buying on balance since Q1 of 2023 and have increased their total holdings to 50%, a sign of growing confidence.
Plug Power Issues Mixed Results, Reaffirms Guidance
Plug Power had a mixed quarter, with top-line results growing 72% YOY to $260.18 million and outpacing the analysts' consensus targets by 900 basis points. The strength was due to increased sales of services in cryogenics and liquefaction markets. The revenue is a company record expected to be topped in the 2nd half of the year.
The bad news is that margin came in considerably below the consensus estimates as start-up and commissioning cash costs continue to build. The company’s GAAP loss widened to $0.40 this quarter and missed by nearly $0.15.
The guidance is favorable, but the analysts have concerns. The company reiterated its outlook for revenue of $1.2 to $1.4 billion, with an expected substantial ramp in hydrolyzer activity.
The analysts' consensus is $1.29 billion for the year. The company expects its Louisiana, New York, and Texas plants to be fully operational by the end of 2024.
The Technical Outlook: Plug Power Falls To 2-Month Low
Shares of Plug Power fell to a 2-month low following the Q2 release and may fall further. The bias is downward, but a bottom is in sight. The bottom will likely be found at or above $8.25.
If not, the market could move to $7.50 before rebounding, but that scenario opens the door to a possible deeper decline. The questions are if the company will have to push back its timetable again and how it will pay for the delays.