A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device which produces electricity from external supplies of fuel and an oxidant. They can operate continuously, as long as the flow continues between the fuel and the oxidant. The most common type of fuel cell is the hydrogen fuel cell, which uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen as oxidant.
There are also alcohol fuel cells, hydrocarbon fuel cells, and several other types. Fuel cells are considered advantageous due to the fact that they are more energy efficient and cleaner than other types of fuel.
The investment arena seems to be flooded with fuel cell stocks and stocks in related industries. Most of them are not generating any earnings, and many aren’t generating revenues. However there are a few that trade on the New York Stock Exchange and generate solid earnings and dividends. Here is the list of most of the major fuel cell players:
Air Products and Chemicals (APD): They market various types of gasses worldwide. The company developed and continues to operate a hydrogen production facility, a fuel cell power plant and a fueling station which dispenses hydrogen and hydrogen blended fuels to a fleet of light duty vehicles in Las Vegas. They also supply Honda Motor Company with high pressure gas and two hydrogen fuelers for their Fuel Cell Vehicle Program with the city of Los Angeles. The stock has a P/E of 22, and is one of the few fuel cell related stocks that pays a dividend, generating a yield of 1.8%.
Ecotality, Inc. (ETLY.OB): This Scottsdale, Arizona company develops an electric power cell technology for various types of transportation vehicles including cars, buses, trucks, and trains. No earnings, no yield, and a price sales ratio you don’t see every day of 136,767.
Alternate Energy Corporation [ARGY.OB]: This company is involved in bulk production of hydrogen and salable chemical by-products.
American Security Resources [ARSC.OB]: This Houston based company develops advanced hydrogen fuel cells.
Arotech Corporation (ARTX): This company develops, manufactures, and sells defense and security products. This company also develops primary and refuelable zinc-air fuel cell technology. Negative earnings but a P/S of .9.
Astris Energi [ASRNF.OB]: The company develops fuel cells in the Czech Republic.
Avista Corporation (AVA): This Spokane, Washington company was founded in 1889. They generate and distribute energy throughout the United States and Canada. The company also sells its patented fuel cells. Their patent covers any type of fuel cell system that utilizes multiple fuel cell modules. It has a P/E of 15, a P/S of .8, and generates a relatively high yield of 2.3%.
Axion Power Intl Inc (AXPW.PK): The company produces lead-acid-carbon energy storage technologies and is developing prototype e3 Supercells, which is a low cost battery-supercapacitor hybrid that uses the same cases, materials, internal components and manufacturing equipment as conventional lead-acid batteries.
Ballard Power Systems (BLDP): The company designs, manufactures, and markets proton exchange membrane [PEM] fuel cells for power generation, automotive, and material products. The stock has negative earnings and a price sales ratio of 10.5.
Cabot Corporation (CBT): This is a specialty chemicals and performance materials company. They also develop and manufacture advanced fuel cell electrocatalysts for PEM and DMFC fuel cells. This is another dividend generator traded on the New York Stock Exchange that yields 1.5%. The P/E is 27 and the P/S is 1.2.
Distributed Energy (DESC): This company is involved in the production of products for the energy market. They make and sell Proton Exchange Membrane [PEM] industrial hydrogen generators [electrolyzers] and fuel cell products. Negative earnings, P/S of 2.7.
EarthFirst Technologies [EFTI.OB]: This company develops and markets technologies for the production of alternative fuel sources. Although many sources list this company as a fuel cell company, I could find no references to a fuel cell connection. On the company’s web site, when a search for “fuel cell” is entered, zero matches come up.
Ener1 Inc. [ENEI.OB]: The company develops and sells batteries, fuel cells, and nanotechnology-related manufacturing products. Negative earnings and a P/S of over 5,000.
Energy Conversion Devices (ENER): This Michigan company develops and sells products, and production processes for the alternative energy generation and energy storage markets. The company is working on a fuel system for powering vehicles powered solely by fuel cells. Negative earnings, PS of 11.
Enova Systems (ENA): This American Stock Exchange company based in Torrance, California develops and sells components for electric, hybrid-electric, fuel cell, and microturbine-powered vehicles. Negative earnings, P/S of 13.
Entegris (ENTG): This materials company provides advanced fuel cell materials, components, subassemblies and other services to fuel cell developers. The company just reported earnings of 46 cents per fully diluted share and sales for the fourth quarter up 15%.
Fuel Cell Energy (FCEL): This Connecticut company, founded in 1969, develops, manufactures, and markets fuel cell power plants for electric power generation. Negative earnings, P/S is 11.
Fuel Systems Solutions (FSYS): This company is involved in designing, manufacturing, marketing and supplying advanced products and systems to enable internal combustion engines to run on clean burning gaseous fuels such as natural gas and propane. I could not find a direct reference to fuel cells on their web site. P/E is 43 and P/S is 1.5.
Hoku Scientific (HOKU): This Hawaii based company provides products and services to the residential primary power, commercial back-up, and automotive hydrogen fuel cell markets. Price sales ratio is 15.
HydroGen Corporation (HYDG): This company is involved in the design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of fuel cell modules and energy systems using phosphoric acid fuel cells. P/S is 138.
Hydrogen Engine Center (HYEG.OB): This company is involved in the design and manufacture of internal combustion engines for the industrial and power generation markets. Its engines are designed to run on alternative fuels, including hydrogen. Their website seems to imply that their business may be in competition to fuel cells. P/S is 411.
Hydrogen Power (HYDP.OB): This company develops and sells a proprietary hydrogen production process for use in commercial applications.
Hydrogenics Corporation (HYGS): This company is involved in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of proton-exchange membrane [PEM], fuel cell automated test stations, fuel cell power products, and hydrogen generation equipment. Negative earnings, P/S is 3.
Kemet Corporation (KEM): This company manufactures capacitors for electronics original equipment manufacturers, electronics manufacturing services providers, and electronics distributors. Possible connection to fuel cells. P/E 156, P/S is 1.
Magnetek Inc. (MAG): This New York Stock Exchange company makes and markets digital power electronic product systems and components along with power conditioners for commercial stationary fuel cells. Negative earnings, P/S is 2.
Manhattan Scientifics Inc. (MHTX.OB): This New York based company is involved in the production of micro fuel cell technology.
Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MKTY): This company is involved in the development of direct methanol fuel cell technology called Mobion, which generates electrical power using methanol as fuel. PS is 7.5.
Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL): This company is involved in the development, production, and selling of direct liquid fuel cell products for consumer and military markets. Negative earnings, P/S is 900.
Methanex (MEOH): This Vancouver based company is involved in the production, marketing, supply, and distribution of methanol. P/E of 6, P/S of 1.4, and generates a yield of 1.8%.
Millennium Cell Inc. (MCEL): This company develops hydrogen batteries comprised of a fuel cell and hydrogen storage technology which is used in portable electronic devices various markets. P/S of 233.
Neah Power Systems [NPWS.OB]: This Bothell, Washington based company develops miniature fuel cells that are used as power sources in laptop computers, cell phones, personal digital assistants, and other portable electronic devices.
Pacific Fuel Cell [PFCE.OB]: This Tustin, California based nanotechnology company is involved in the development and production of carbon nanomaterial-based membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells for the portable and micro fuel cell market.
Plug Power (PLUG): This company is involved in the production of proton exchange membrane fuel cell and fuel processing technologies. P/S is 35.
Power Air [PWAC.OB]: This company develops, makes, and sells fuel cell-based commercial products including the development and commercialization of zinc-air fuel cell [ZAFC] technology.
Praxair Inc (PX): This NYSE company is involved in the production and distribution of industrial gases around the world. Praxair provides its customers with hydrogen supply for fuel cells. P/E is 21, P/S is 2.5, and the yield is 1.9%.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide (QTWW): This company produces powertrain engineering, system integration, and manufacturing of packaged fuel systems and specialty equipment for fuel cells, hybrids, alternative fuels, and hydrogen refueling. It also is involved in designing, engineering, and producing hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Negative earnings, P/S is .6.
Syngas International [SYNI.OB]: This company is involved in the development and production of hydrogen-enriched alternative fuels.
Teledyne Tech Systems (TDY): This company produces electronic components and instruments, including hydrogen gas generators and thermoelectric and fuel cell-based power sources that are used in power generation plants. P/E is 16.4, P/S is .9.
United Technologies (UTX): This company produces technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries. They also produce fuel cells for commercial, transportation, and space applications. P/E is 18, P/S is 1.4 and the yield is 1.6%.
UQM Technologies (UQM): This company produces developing electric power systems for battery electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. P/S is 19.
ViaSpace (VSPC): This company develops space and defense technologies for NASA and the department of defense, including disposable fuel cartridges for manufacturers of direct methanol fuel cells. P/S is 240.
Zap (ZAAP.OB): This company is involved in development, acquisition, and marketing of electric vehicles and electric vehicle power systems, including a fuel cell vehicle. P/S is 3.9.
Disclosure: Author does not own any of the above at this time.