Plug Power wins over a skeptic as stock looks to cap off a wild month

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Plug Power Inc. shares were getting a big jolt Wednesday after an analyst turned bullish on the name in wake of a recent visit to the company’s new plant.

That trip to Plug Power’s

just-opened Georgia facility “gives us confidence the facility is ramping smoothly and all major technical issues are handled, addressing our prior concerns about backlog and margin visibility,” Roth MKM’s Craig Irwin wrote in a note to clients.

He added that electrolyzers at the facility “were clearly operating well as the team ratably commissions the plant.” Irwin said that Plug Power’s leadership team should get “strong credit for building the largest electrolyzer in North America in half the time of a legacy facility.”

Irwin upgraded shares of alternative-energy company Plug Power to buy from neutral, while doubling his price target to $9.

The stock was up more than 20% in Wednesday afternoon action as it looks to cap off a month with many wild swings. Shares slid earlier in the month as the company announced approval for a stock-sale plan, but they rallied more recently after management gave an update on funding progress that included the potential for a Department of Energy loan facility.

In all, the stock is near flat on the month but off more than 70% over the past year.

Irwin, for his part, sees flexibility when it comes to the company’s funding picture.

“While the recently announced [$1 billion at-the-market offering] is an obvious financing solution, we expect Plug has several options available including strategic investment, sale leasebacks, and a variety of common debt and equity instruments,” he wrote.” A successful [$1.6 billion Department of Energy] loan application would be a catalyst.”

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