The hydrogen sector was verified by investors on Tuesday as shares of Ballard Power Systems Inc. fell nearly 20% after missing revenue estimates, while other clean energy companies that have stolen high last year have also seen their stock prices fall.
Ballard, based in Burnaby, British Columbia, reported first quarter revenue of US $ 17.6 million, compared to a forecast of US $ 25.5 million according to consensus analysts’ estimates. Ballard’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to a loss of US $ 14 million, compared to analysts’ estimates for a loss of US $ 12.6 million.
The hydrogen fuel cell maker made a series of announcements of partnerships and collaborations this year, including a leaked strategic alliance with Linamar Corp. on Monday. for powertrains and components for light vehicles.
“However, this activity is not yet translating into significant orders,” Aaron MacNeil, analyst at TD Securities Inc., said in a research note.
Ballard’s share price fell $ 4.85 to close at $ 19.99 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
U.S. companies caught in Ballard’s downdraft included Plug Power Inc., FuelCell Energy Inc., and Bloom Energy Corp.
Plug shares fell nearly 8% while FuelCell fell 5% on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Bloom’s shares fell 7% on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ballard, Plug, FuelCell and Bloom stock prices soared last year amid excitement over the prospects that hydrogen is playing a major role in the hoped-for global transformation towards low energy sources. or zero carbon. But their stock prices have fallen sharply this year as investors take a closer look at stock valuations and find that the hydrogen industry’s long-term decarbonization hopes have yet to translate into a flow. significant new income in the short term.
Ballard is largely betting his future on what he calls heavy motivation – supplying fuel cell products for commercial vehicles that tend to travel much longer distances than passenger cars. Hydrogen fuel cells power vehicles by creating electricity without emitting carbon dioxide.
The company has strived to diversify over the years, expanding well beyond the niche forklift market. Two months ago, for example, Ballard said he was working with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. on a program to develop hydrogen locomotives by modernizing diesel-dependent ones.
“I think we still need to take a step back and recognize and understand that these bus, truck, train and ship markets are always in transition – very early in market adoption,” Ballard CEO said, Randy MacEwen, at a conference. call with industry analysts Tuesday.
Mr. MacEwen said Ballard enjoyed a healthy balance sheet, with cash reserves of US $ 1.27 billion at the end of the first quarter.
Ballard’s share price has seen a roller coaster climb from less than $ 4 in early 2019 to a 52-week high at $ 53.90 on February 9, 2021, before falling for the past three months. .
MacMurray Whale, an analyst at Cormark Securities Inc., said Ballard is focusing on heavy-duty applications in China, Europe and California. “Investors will watch the results throughout 2021 for evidence of a tangible increase in customer acceptance,” he said in a research note. “Fortunately, Ballard has never been so well capitalized.”
CIBC World Markets Inc. analyst Hamir Patel said Ballard’s 12-month backlog of US $ 73.1 million at the end of March negatively impacted the price of its stocks. stocks, but the company’s balance sheet looks very strong.
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