Fuel cell makers become big targets for shorts as shares surge

Shorts against the share prices of red-hot fuel cell manufacturers are climbing as questions emerge about the prospects for profits.

Plug Power’s (PLUG +11.4%) short interest reached a two-and-a-half-year high of 10.6% of shares outstanding on March 10, up from 2.4% in September; shorts in FuelCell Energy (FCEL +1.8%) reached 14.2% yesterday vs. 4% in June; and Ballard Power (BLDP +1.7%) surged to a record 3% from 0.2% in October.

PLUG plunged yesterday after short-seller Andrew Left said in a report that the shares are worth 50 cents, and Left adds another criticism today, saying PLUG will be threatened if larger companies move into its market, such as Toyota (TM), which plans to release a fuel-cell sedan next year.

"If fuel cells become standard in fork lifts, Toyota is ready to step in,” Left says today. "If hydrogen becomes the fuel of the future, then Wal-Mart will take the cheapest supplier.”

Cowen's Robert Stone, who downgraded FCEL today, counters that PLUG dominates the market in fuel cells for material handling and has more than 100 patents that will help protect its advantage should additional suppliers enter the market.

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Comments (11)
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (3199) | Send Message
    Unfortunately for BLDP longs the company is getting caught up with the proprietary issues surrounding PLUG.


    BLDP will eventually distance themselves from forklifts and be seen for what they really are- a multi-faceted provider of hydrogen fuel cell technology for applications as diverse as automotive, telecom, mass transit, stationary backup power, aerospace and military.


    This is a long term hold.


    Plug will fall by the wayside before too long.
    12 Mar 2014, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • alan ljl
    , contributor
    Comments (273) | Send Message
    Totally agree with you.
    Also falling by the wayside will be FCEL, the units they make are the size of a bus to half a city block. How they even get related to BLDP or PLUG shows you more about the herd mentality than anything else.
    12 Mar 2014, 09:21 PM Reply Like
  • harball
    , contributor
    Comments (438) | Send Message
    Sadly people read too much into BLDP's relationship w PLUG.
    12 Mar 2014, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • cactus jack 65
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
    Andrew short can't still be short on plug. he must have made a killing yesterday
    12 Mar 2014, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • Imperative Ideas
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
    All three stocks made the NASDAQ circuit breaker list yesterday, forming a perfect little bull-trap as a result. Unless PLUG blows the analysts completely out of the water (unlikely) tomorrow is going to be an absolute bloodbath.


    Ironically, by triggering the selloff two days early, Citron may have saved the sector from the kind of collapse we would have seen otherwise. I'm still long on the tech but in the short term... bears down the line.
    12 Mar 2014, 04:58 PM Reply Like
  • Masheka
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Left is a Stocklemon/Cirton blowhard - novice investors continue to buy into this guy's criminal agenda


    just wiki search the guy:


    In response to the statements made in reports by Citron Research, Left has been the target of litigation multiple times. In a 2011 interview he claimed that he had never lost a case in the U.S.[12]




    In 2004, YP.Net Inc., filed a defamation lawsuit in Arizona federal court against StockLemon after the website published a critical report on the company.[33] The case was dropped in August of the same year, following YP.Net's CEO being charged with conspiracy, money laundering and wire fraud.[34][35]


    Salim Rana[edit]


    In 2005, businessman Salim Rana sued Left and was awarded $2,500,000 damages in the Los Angeles Superior Court.[36]




    In 2005, iMergent Inc., filed a $15 million libel and defamation suit against StockLemon in Los Angeles Superior Court following the site's report on the company.[37] The suit was dismissed in 2006.[38] The company was later the target of class action lawsuits that alleged accounting irregularities and deceptive sales practices.[39]


    GTX Global[edit]


    In 2005, GTX Global Corp filed a suit against Left, charging claims of trade libel, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, securities fraud under California law, securities fraud under federal law, and conspiracy.[40] The suit was dismissed in 2007.[41] GTX Global CEO David Hagen was later convicted of securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.[42]
    12 Mar 2014, 04:59 PM Reply Like
  • manfredthree
    , contributor
    Comments (3154) | Send Message
    We' d never heard of the guy, which apparently is a good thing. Probably the noisiest short we've ever seen. By 'noise' , we refer to a concoction of old news, no news, massive omission (thud not bang) , sensational drivel and the stock market equivalent of Halloween gags, all delivered with the gesturing of indignation. This is all the result of shorts getting in way over their heads. We'll just stay with our much more conservative game plan, which has been very profitable for TSLA, GMCR, ALU, TTWO, and PLUG to name a few. All were predicted by noisy shorts to go to zero in a heartbeat. Keep those earPLUGs handy !
    12 Mar 2014, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • mikelazar
    , contributor
    Comments (438) | Send Message
    Ballard is the best fuel cell maker out their bar none.They just so happen to be down the street from me in Vancouver British Columbia.I've watched this company grow from 12 employes to now 320.That alone should tell you where the stocks going.Their in the right place at the right time now.The product line is invincible and sales are through the roof Just buy and hold this baby.And the rewards will come.Good luck to all you believers.KTF
    12 Mar 2014, 06:06 PM Reply Like
  • tjmyman@163.com
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Plug is going up tommorr. Andy is muddy water company
    12 Mar 2014, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • manfredthree
    , contributor
    Comments (3154) | Send Message
    The most common short argument on TSLA was "It does not work"
    The second most common argument was "If it does work, Toyota and GM will snuff them out". (Do you see a little pattern here ?)
    The third most common argument "Real car buyers won't buy it"
    The fourth most common argument was "If car buyers do buy it, the regulators will shut down the sales model" (Do you see the pattern here ?)
    We could go on. But you will see the Noisy Short Pattern clearly:
    -Make an assertion that is unsupported or impossible to disprove (FUD)
    -Back it up with an equally unproveable backup assertion.
    - Ignore those facts and occurrences that are achieved inflection points
    12 Mar 2014, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • bketsaa
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    I don't have access to the information that your other readers have, but I do think, and 'am quiet confident that fuel cells have a place in the future of both off the grid and on it. Also in the mix is Capstone Turbine. I plan to hold both (FCEL) & (Cpst) in my portfolio and will add to both.
    12 Mar 2014, 06:14 PM Reply Like
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