August 23rd, 2023 | 09:10 CEST
Disappointments and surprises: Nikola, Plug Power, First Hydrogen
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"[...] We are committed to stay as the number one Canadian and global leader in the Hydrogen-On-Demand diesel technology [...]" Jim Payne, CEO, dynaCERT Inc.
First Hydrogen: The hydrogen newcomer inspires
The poor sentiment in the hydrogen sector is evident from the lack of response to First Hydrogen's recent success story. This went unnoticed, although the Canadian hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicle impressed during test drives with a fleet operator in the UK. In regular times, this news would likely have led to a double-digit jump in the share price. Does this offer an exciting entry opportunity?
Yes, say the experts from researchanalyst.com. After the extremely successful test drives of the prototypes under real road conditions, entry into the mass market should occur soon. This will open up a sales volume of around EUR 1 billion for the Canadians. With a market capitalization of around EUR 90 million, First Hydrogen is not overvalued compared to other companies in the sector.
Rivus has recently expressed enthusiasm for road tests with First Hydrogen's commercial vehicles. The range was deemed unbeatable - more than double that of electric-powered vehicles - and refueling is quick at less than 5 minutes. It is important to note that Rivus is far from being a small fleet provider. The Company operates around 120,000 vehicles in the UK. Gemma Horne, Warranty Controller at Rivus, accompanied the tests and said, "The main advantage of the First Hydrogen vehicle is that the refueling times are shorter than the charging times of battery-powered vehicles. And of course, unlike internal combustion engines, hydrogen vehicles produce zero emissions."
First Hydrogen Automotive CEO Steve Gill was also pleased, saying, "*We are pleased that Rivus was able to prove that this technology can be a viable alternative for many fleets. The trial also demonstrated that the vehicle can achieve a range of more than 500 km on a single tank*, exceeding initial expectations for the vehicle's performance in real-world use. We have long believed that our vehicle will be beneficial to fleets, and this first trial proves just that."
Plug Power: Shareholders are concerned
While First Hydrogen is receiving virtually no advance praise in terms of valuation and market potential, Plug Power is a very different story. The hydrogen specialist from the US is valued at more than USD 5 billion even after the recent share price declines. After another set of weak quarterly figures with high losses and a threatened capital measure, investors sent the share below EUR 8 and thus close to the multi-year low at around EUR 7. Around a year ago, the share was trading at over EUR 20.
The business is simply in a tough spot. Although Plug Power was able to increase sales by 72% to USD 260.2 million in the second quarter, thus exceeding analysts' estimates, the loss estimates were also exceeded. Plug Power posted a loss of USD 236.4 million in the second quarter. This, in turn, suggests that the US company will likely require a substantial amount of capital until reaching the break-even point.
Nikola: Convertible bond shocks shareholders
Nikola is already one step ahead. On Monday, a capital measure was announced, causing the electric truck developer's stock to drop by double digits again, closing at USD 1.51. Around USD 325 million is to be collected via a convertible bond. This will mean a significant dilution for existing shareholders. Even more urgently than at Plug Power, the capital is needed to break even "at some point" - when is still written in the stars. Because previously, there was a halt to sales of electric trucks due to a battery fire. The previously delivered vehicles were recalled to modify the battery pack. Perhaps partly because of these problems, Nikola has already announced it will focus on fuel-cell trucks.
As with Plug Power, Nikola's market capitalization should not be underestimated despite the plunge in its share price. Nikola still weighs in at over USD 1.4 billion. Plug Power will not likely see a sustained upward trend until the financing is clear.
Investors would be well advised to pay attention not only to the old pure plays such as Nel, Plug Power and Nikola. First Hydrogen is without doubt one of the exciting newcomers.
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