SFC Energy: Growing Remote Power

by Debra Fiakas CFA Fuel cell developer SFC Energy, A.G. (F3C.DE) recently came calling on money managers in New York City.  The company’s chief financial officer Steffen Schneider wants U.S. investors to know SFC has more going for it than simple fuel cells.  True enough the company sells fuel cell components, but it is also capable of delivering complete off-grid energy solutions and integrating full systems. Schneider talks up SFC’s sterling customer list, including Volkswagen, Siemens, Schlumberger, Shell Oil, Arch Coal, Conoco-Phillips, and other industrial users.  Then there are government agencies such as NATO, the FBI in...

FuelCell Energy Rising

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week I was surprised to find FuelCell Energy (FCEL:  Nasdaq) on a list of companies registering a particularly bullish technical formation called an ‘Aroon’ indicator.  This measure that is designed to reveal stocks entering a new, decisive trend.  Shares of this fuel cell technology developer and producer had been in a steady decline through most of the year 2014, reaching a 52-week low price of $1.05 in January 2015.  However, since then FCEL has regained 27% from that low point. Source:  Stockcharts.com   The turn in fortunes seemed to...

Hyster-Yale’s Fuel Cell Deal

by Debra Fiakas CFA Near the close of 2014, Nuvera Fuel Cells was acquired by NACCO, an operating company of Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. (HY:  NYSE).  Nuvera sells a proprietary fuel cell stack under the brand name Orion for industrial mobility, automotive and aerospace applications.  The company also sells its PowerTap Hydrogen Station for on-site hydrogen generation (see image below).  The purchase price was not disclosed and Hyster-Yale has not provided guidance on how the deal will impact its sales and earnings in 2015.  Apparently, Nuvera’s sales and earnings are not material to Hyster-Yale in the...

Toyota Opens The Fuel Cell Kimono

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week Toyota Motor Corporation (TM:  NYSE) announced its intention to share its patented fuel cell technology with other automotive manufacturers.    Engineers from competing auto manufacturers can get a look at Toyota’s fuel cell designs up through 2020.  Toyota has taken a page from Tesla Motors (TSLA:  Nasdaq), which made its electric vehicle battery designs available to the public last year.  Since the car business is intensely competitive, automotive manufacturers are typically quite circumspect about their innovations.  However, producers of cars powered by alternative energy sources are faced with a unique problem ...

Fuel Cells: Know Your Market

by Debra Fiakas CFA The New Year got off to a rocky start for Ballard Power Systems (BLDP:  Nasdaq), a developer of fuel cell technologies and systems.  The company ran into some trouble with its strategy to penetrate the China market through a partner.  No one should be surprised by Ballard’s difficulties.  Fuel cell technology has been under development for more than two decades.  Frankly, technology is not the problem  -  at least any more.  Early on developers were beset by numerous challenges, not the least of which was the problem of getting fuel cells to work properly...

Ballard Terminates Azure Hydrogen Licenses; Can It Find A Better China Partner?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Before the open of the first trading day of 2015, fuel cell developer Ballard Power Systems (BLDP:  Nasdaq) announced the termination of technology licenses to Azure Hydrogen, which was to have been Ballard’s introduction to the China market. The license agreements covered the sale of Ballard’s bus power module and telecom backup power system.  Ballard has charged Azure with breaching the agreements and the two companies have apparently not been able to come to alternative terms.  Azure had made sales in the China and not all of the equipment had been paid. ...

Hydrogenics: Powering Up

by Debra Fiakas CFA In the last post on Hydrogenics, Inc. (HYGS:  Nasdaq) in April 2014, the stock seemed to be languishing on news of a potentially dilutive common stock offering.  At the time profits still seem illusive.  However, over the last few months circumstances have improved.  Shares of Hydrogenics have moved higher on the company’s recent introduction of a fuel cell power system for medium and heavy duty vehicles.  Additionally, in July this year Hydrogenics was chosen by Ontario as one of five grid storage projects.  This has turned HYGS into an interesting stock to watch. ...

Fuel Cell Follies: Off-Roading

by Debra Fiakas CFA Consumer adoption of hydrogen-fueled vehicles could have quite a catalytic impact on the entire fuel cell industry.  Two of the public fuel cell technology companies come to mind first:  Plug Power, Inc. (PLUG:  Nasdaq), FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL:  Nasdaq) and Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP:  Nasdaq).  These companies have been toiling away for years on fuel cell technologies, finding success on the periphery with industrial, campus and power generation solutions.  All three companies trade at modest prices and could look like great bargains for investors with an extended investment horizon.  Forklift Fuel Cells...

Mantra’s Promise of Innovation

by Debra Fiakas CFA How often do we see the crowd rooting for the underdog?  You could hear the cheers for Mantra Energy (MVTG:  OTC) last week at the Marcum Microcap Conference in New York City.  Mantra is a developmental stage company pursuing technologies to harness carbon dioxide for energy.  Of course, the company has no revenue and therefore no earnings.  Indeed, its technologies are so unique and as yet at such an early stage some might find them almost fanciful.   Yet for some investors, a fanciful underdog is even better than another.   Mantra sees itself...

Mantra Energy: The Future of Portable Fuel Cell Technology?

by Lee Shane When one thinks of fuel cells and fuel cell technology some names immediately come to mind.  Ballard Power (BLDP) went public in 1993 and was listed on NASDAQ in 1995. A company that made its debut in 1997 was Plug Power (PLUG), a joint venture between DTE Energy and Mechanical Technology Inc.  Hydrogenics (HYGS) is a company that has been around for 60 years, but more recently has gotten investor attention for their fuel cell technology. Most of the technology produced by well-known fuel cell companies share common features… They are based on...

Twelve Hydrogen And Fuel Cell Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA While many people think first about hydrogen when they think of fuel cells, fuel cells are not limited to hydrogen.  They are a set of related technologies, many of which can generate electricity from a number of hydrocarbon fuels rather than hydrogen.  I limited my recent post on the rapid rise of hydrogen stocks to just US-listed companies involved in the production and use of hydrogen, leaving out foreign stocks and other fuel cell technologies for brevity. In my research for that article, however, I came across fully ten publicly traded companies involved with...

Bloom Energy’s IPO Will Soar on Cheap Natural Gas

By Jeff Siegel It was boasted as an energy breakthrough. Bloom Energy's Bloom Box paraded around the media  including a very generous piece aired by 60 Minutes as some kind of new, game-changing magical energy creation device that would change the world. Problem is, it's not really “new.” And it's certainly not going to change the world. But don't tell that to the folks who are looking to take the company public, perhaps as soon as this year. Now, I'm not saying a Bloom Energy IPO would fail. In fact, based on the hype surrounding the...

Counting Out FuelCell Energy?

by Debra Fiakas CFA This afternoon FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL:  Nasdaq) is scheduled to report results for its fiscal third quarter ending July 2012.  As its corporate name suggests the company produces fuel cells for use as power plants or grid alternatives.  FuelCell has customers, but has yet to reach profitability.  No embarrassment there.  None of the other U.S.-based fuel cell producers has delivered earnings to shareholders either and two have had to file for bankruptcy protection. Journalists have made light of fuel cell developers as perpetually unprofitable.  Last year one even made a list of profitable...

Has the fuel-cell industry reached a tipping point?

Tyler Hamilton There was a shareholder who stood up at Ballard Power’s annual meeting last week to share her experience with the company’s stock price. It pretty much summed up the frustration shared by most investors in the fuel-cell industry. This investor has owned Ballard (BLDP) shares for most of 20 years. She sold in early 2000 when the stock hit $140 a share and did quite well. That was when the hype around fuel-cell powered cars was approaching its fever pitch. Later that year she bought back into the company at about $120 a share, believing...

Hydrogenics Corp: Splitting Water

by Debra Fiakas, CFA Most investors, if they have heard of Hydrogenics Corporation (HYGS: Nasdaq) at all, consider them a fuel cell producer. However, about two-thirds of the company’s revenue comes from the design and manufacture of hydrogen generation products based on water electrolysis technology - a somewhat unique, but valuable electrochemical technology that could make important contributions to the world’s future energy base. Electrolysis or the splitting of water molecules using an electric current produces hydrogen and oxygen - two elements that have market potential in a variety of industrial and power markets. It stands in...

What’s the Stock Play in Wake of the Over-hyped Story About Fuel Cell Developer...

Bill Paul Having been a Wall Street Journal energy and environment reporter, one of the first experts I would have called before running a story on privately-held solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) developer Bloom Energy would have been Neal Dikeman, who in addition to being a prominent alternative energy investor and the writer of an authoritative blog on clean technology, was involved in developing a fuel cell company. But as Dikeman posted lasted week – Saving Cleantech: Bloom town Silicon Valley? – he didn’t get a call from the folks at CBS’s 60 Minutes, so the raft of legitimate technical...