What do we make of Ballard Power (Ballard Power Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSX:BLDP), a company that\u2019s gotten a whole lot of attention over the years but proved to be a perennial disappointment? Yet now with hydrogen fuel cell technology being touted by governments worldwide as part and parcel of their climate change commitments, is now the time for Ballard to shine? Possibly, says portfolio manager Jamie Murray, who thinks with the stock having pulled back from its first quarter highs, investors may want to get in while they still can. \u201cHydrogen has been all the rage in the market this last six months to a year,\u201d says Murray, head of research at the Murray Wealth Group, who spoke on BNN Bloomberg on Monday. \u201cBallard has done a couple of large financings that have been swallowed up by institutional investors. And we own a little bit of Ballard in our Canadian portfolio, as well.\u201d Get Cantech picks before anyone else does. Cantech Alerts delivered straight to your inbox. Click here for this free service. \u201cWe do think we are entering that Golden Age for hydrogen,\u201d Murray said.\u201dWe\u2019ve had a couple of false starts over the past 20 years but it really feels like there\u2019s the combination of financial, social and public interest in really making hydrogen a reality in terms of producing it for vehicles or whatever transportation use they\u2019re going to find.\u201d Ballard Power had been a steady climber over the past couple of years but the stock really kicked it into high gear around the end of 2020, going from $25 at the start of December to as high as $52 by early February. The fallback has been just as steep, however, with BLDP dropping below the $25-mark just last week before bumping back up a couple of bucks this week. Why the volatility? Part of the issue is likely the rise and fall of interest in hydrogen and fuel cell stocks as a group over the past year, culminating in February and dropping off precipitously over the past two months. Take a look at the charts for other names in the space like Fuelcell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL), Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) and Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) and you\u2019ll find similar ups and downs in recent months. But for Ballard, the company\u2019s fourth quarter results delivered in early March might not have helped things, coming as they did with quarterly revenue down 32 per cent year-over-year and down two per cent for the full 2020 year compared to 2019. Granted, COVID-19 would have played a role in the decline, but likely just as disappointing from an investor\u2019s point of view was a drop in the company\u2019s order backlog, which went from $128.1 million at the end of the third quarter to $117.8 million by the year\u2019s end. In its commentary, management said while 2020 was challenging, the future is still sparkling for hydrogen. Get Cantech picks before anyone else does. Cantech Alerts delivered straight to your inbox. Click here for this free service. \u201cWith about 50 countries announcing CO2 pricing initiatives, 75 countries with net zero targets, and over 30 countries with hydrogen strategies, we believe Ballard is well positioned to realize significant growth in the coming decade,\u201d said president and CEO Randy MacEwen in a press release. \u201cAs a result, we are increasing and accelerating our investment to drive high growth, high market adoption and high market share for the benefit of long-term shareholder value,\u201d MacEwen said. Murray said there\u2019s definitely a big risk factor with investing in a name like Ballard. \u201cWe\u2019re still early in it but I think with a company like Ballard you\u2019re going to get a lot of growth out of it, but it\u2019s very expensive right now and even some of that growth doesn\u2019t really start for two to three years,\u201d Murray said. \u201cWe\u2019ve been talking about some of the bubbly activities and hydrogen would definitely fall into that spectrum, but we think Ballard is definitely more legitimate than a lot of these other companies out there,\u201d he said. \u201cSo, what it really comes down to is, is what Ballard does in making these fuel cells not going to get commoditized and get competed away and it\u2019s not going to really be anything special or is Ballard going to be one of the few players in the world that\u2019s making fuel cells and growing 20-25 per cent a year for the next couple of decades as hydrogen production and use explodes? That\u2019s really the question.\u201d \u201cI think Ballard has a place in a portfolio as a small, speculative position, and definitely it\u2019s better to be buying it at $26 than at $46 where it was in January. Now is probably a good time to be chipping away at it, and we just bought a little bit more last week,\u201d Murray said. Ahead of Ballard\u2019s first quarter 2021 financials due in early May, the company\u2019s fourth quarter saw total revenue of $28.6 million, down 32 per cent year-over-year, and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $14.5 million compared to $7.0 million a year earlier. Get Cantech picks before anyone else does. Cantech Alerts delivered straight to your inbox. Click here for this free service.