Investors who have owned stocks in the past year have generally experienced some big gains. But there is no question some big-name stocks performed better than others along the way.
Plug’s Big Run: One company that has been a rollercoaster investment in the past year has been hydrogen and fuel cell systems stock Plug Power Inc PLUG.
Plug Power is a far cry from some of the fresh new alternative energy startup stocks that have collectively rallied over the past year. In fact, Plug Power went public all the way back in 1999 and has been mostly disappointing investors ever since.
Back in 2013, the company said it would be EBITDA break-even by mid-2014. Roughly seven years later, the company still hasn’t reached that profitability milestone.
Meanwhile, Plug announced in March it will be restating its past four years of financial statements due to “errors in accounting.” That’s certainly not the kind of track record that inspires confidence in a company.
In 2019, Plug reported a 36-cent EPS loss on $230 million in revenue. In 2020, those numbers dropped to an EPS loss of $1.58 on negative $100 million in revenue.
At the beginning of 2020, Plug shares were trading around $3.21. By the beginning of March, the stock was up to around $4.60 despite news of the coronavirus spreading in China prompting concerns about a U.S. pandemic. On March 17, Plug shares dropped all the way down to $2.53 in intraday trading, its low point of the pandemic.
Fortunately for Plug investors, the stock rebounded along with the rest of the market in the weeks that followed.
Plug shares hit $10 for the first time in early July, but the rally was just getting started. The stock made it to $20 in November and hit $50 in early January 2021 when the rally really started to accelerate. The major catalyst was a $1.5 billion deal with South Korean industrial giant SK Group, which investors saw as a foot in the door to be a central player in South Korea’s “Hydrogen Economy Roadmap through 2040” plan.
Plug In 2021, Beyond: Plug shares eventually made it as high as $75.49 in January. Unfortunately, another round of disappointing earnings numbers and news of potential accounting irregularities took all the wind out of Plug’s sails.
Plug shares are now trading back down under $30 per share.
Still, Plug investors who bought one year ago and held on through an extremely turbulent year have now generated a huge return on their investment. In fact, $1,000 in Plug stock bought on April 27, 2020, would be worth about $6,657 today.
Looking ahead, analysts are expecting Plug to bounce back in the next 12 months. The average price target among the 18 analysts covering the stock is $56.50, suggesting 91.8% upside from current levels.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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