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Plug Power has a 53 per cent upside, says Roth

After a business update from fuel cell company Plug Power (Plug Power Stock Quote, Charts, News, Analysts, Financials NASDAQ:PLUG), Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin is staying bullish on the stock, reiterating a “Buy” rating and $25.00 target in a Thursday note to clients.

Latham, New York-based Plug Power, a provider of hydrogen fuel cell turnkey solutions, held its annual business update call on Thursday, with management reiterating guidance for the year while lowering expectations for the upcoming fourth quarter 2022. The company said Q4 2022 revenue should come in around $260 million, representing a 60 per cent year-over-year increase but representing a miss compared to the consensus estimate of $340 million. (All figures in US dollars.)

“Management attributed soft revenue to ramp inefficiencies, accounting for around two-thirds of the shortfall, with the other third from customer project delays. Management said it did not lose any orders, and backlog was not impacted, with deliveries pushed into 1Q23,” Irwin wrote.

As for the year ahead, guidance of $1.4 billion was maintained, with management saying it has visibility on 80-85 per cent of its electrolyzer sales, 70-75 per cent of material handling sales, 60 per cent of its cyrogenic sales and visibility on nearly 100 per cent of expected liquefier sales. 

Irwin said the company is seeing rising demand for its liquefiers, pointing to $150 million in orders over the last 60 days of the fourth quarter.

For his part, Irwin is projecting full 2023 revenue of $1.400 billion and EPS at negative $0.35 per share.

“We expect gross margin execution and progress towards positive operating income to present the most significant catalysts in the stock, and note the near-term consensus may need to move lower. We reiterate our Buy for impeccable positioning in green hydrogen and electrolyzers, on top of materials handling leadership,” Irwin wrote.

The analyst said his $25 target is based on a 21x multiple of his 2025 EBITDA estimate of $700 million. At the time of publication, Irwin’s target represented a projected one-year return of 53 per cent.

“We see the 21x multiple as fair, balancing sector weakness with the expectation that PLUG’s ’25 results should reflect an early stage of growth in the context where various market forecasts estimate 18 per cent to 23 per cent of world energy comes from hydrogen by 2050,” Irwin wrote.

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About The Author /

Jayson is a writer, researcher and educator with a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Ottawa. His interests range from bioethics and innovations in the health sciences to governance, social justice and the history of ideas.
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