Plug Power Faces Stiff Headwinds In Q1, Optimistic About Future Margins

Zinger Key Points
  • Plug Power reports significant decline in Q1 revenue and expanded losses.
  • Plug Power expects revenue growth in later quarters with ongoing product expansion and pricing strategy adjustments.

Plug Power Inc PLUG reported a first-quarter fiscal 2024 net revenue decline of 42.8% year-over-year to $120.264 million, missing the consensus of $157.58 million. 

Plug stated that sales performance reflects seasonality in equipment sales and timing impacts from electrolyzer deployments.

Net loss per share was $(0.46) down from $(0.35) YoY, below the consensus of $(0.32).

Gross loss expanded to $(159.075) million from $(69.396) million a year ago, and operating loss for the quarter expanded to $(259.41) million from $(209.8) million YoY.

Plug saw improvements in the quarter's gross margins for Fuel Delivered, Service, and Power Purchase Agreements versus the first and fourth quarters of 2023.

Meanwhile, it saw headwinds on equipment margins given focus on lowering inventory and limiting production, coupled with lower sales level collectively generating unfavorable overhead absorption.

Plug expects one-third of its total revenue for 2024 to be generated in the first half of the year, aligning with historical seasonal patterns and ongoing product expansion efforts.

Operational Updates: Plug has 20 electrolyzer systems undergoing commissioning at third-party customer sites, with additional deliveries scheduled throughout the remainder of 2024. 

Plug raised prices across its product range, especially hydrogen, aiming to enhance value. Positive margin impacts are expected in the coming quarters.

Plug Power wrote down certain assets, which resulted in non-cash charges recorded in the quarter of ~$40 million. In addition,  Plug mobilized certain cost down actions in the first quarter.

Net cash used in operating activities totaled $(167.73) million, compared to $(276.92) million a year ago.

The company's net cash used in operations and investments decreased by 38% QoQ and 42% YoY. Further improvement is expected as hydrogen supply and pricing adjustments take effect. 

PLUG held cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash end of $1.168 billion as of March-end.

Plug Power said inventory reduction remains a key priority in its cash management strategy for 2024.

Recently, Plug Power inked a memorandum of understanding with Allied Green Ammonia (AGA), an Australian Company focused on green ammonia production. 

Under the deal, the company will supply up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of Plug electrolyzer capacity for AGA's upcoming hydrogen-to-ammonia facility proposed for the Northern Territory of Australia.

Price Action: PLUG shares are trading higher by 5.6% at $2.66 at the last check Thursday.

Photo via Shutterstock

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