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Is PLUG Stock a Buy Now That It Struck a Deal With Amazon?

Plug Power (PLUG) recently signed a deal with Amazon (AMZN) to support AMZN in achieving its net-zero carbon commitment by 2040. Striking a deal with the retail giant demonstrates its steady position in the industry. However, considering PLUG’s bleak bottom line, is the stock a buy now? Read on…

Plug Power Inc. (PLUG) delivers end-to-end clean hydrogen and zero-emissions fuel cell solutions for supply chain and logistics applications, on-road electric vehicles, stationary power markets, and others in North America and internationally.

On August 25, 2022, PLUG signed a hydrogen supply deal with, Inc. (AMZN) to provide liquid green hydrogen from 2025 and to assist AMZN in meeting its net-zero carbon commitment by 2040.

“Landing a green hydrogen supply deal with a customer like Amazon validates our multi-year investment and strategic expansion into green hydrogen,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug.

Moreover, on September 8, 2022, PLUG and Lhyfe, a pure player in renewable green hydrogen, co-ordered ten 5-megawatt European manufactured PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyzer systems for the production of green hydrogen across multiple European plants.

Over the past month, the stock has gained 13.7% and 3.2% year-to-date to close the last trading session at $29.61. However, it has lost 20.4% over the past nine months.

Here is what could shape PLUG’s performance in the near term:

Weak Bottom-line Performance

For the second quarter that ended June 30, 2022, PLUG’s operating loss came in at $146.91 million, up 63.9% year-over-year. Its net loss increased 73.9% year-over-year to $173.30 million, while its loss per share came in at $0.30, up 66.7% year-over-year.

Stretched Valuations

In terms of its forward EV/S, PLUG’s 14.82x is 816.2% higher than the industry average of 1.62x. Its forward P/S of 18.35x is significantly higher than the industry average of 1.21x. Moreover, its forward Price/Book of 4.25x is 71.2% higher than the industry average of 2.48x.

Poor Profit Margins

PLUG’s trailing-12-month gross profit margin of negative 20.03% is lower than the industry average of 29.10%. Also, its trailing-12-month negative EBITDA margin of 89.05% is lower than the industry average of 12.94%, while its trailing-12-month net income margin of negative 105.26% is lower than the industry average of 6.77%.

Furthermore, PLUG’s trailing-12-month ROCE, ROTC, and ROTA of negative 13.73%, 6.62%, and 10.98%, are lower than the industry averages of 14.29%, 6.66%, and 5.12%, respectively.

POWR Ratings Reflect Bleak Prospects

PLUG has an overall rating of F, equating to Strong Sell in our proprietary POWR Ratings system. The POWR Ratings are calculated by considering 118 different factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree.

PLUG has a D grade for Value, consistent with its higher-than-industry valuation multiples. It has an F grade for Quality, in sync with its lower-than-industry profitability margins. In addition, it has an F grade for Stability, in sync with its beta of 1.78.

In the 92-stock Industrial – Equipment industry, PLUG is ranked #86. The industry is rated C.

Click here for the additional POWR Ratings for PLUG (Growth, Momentum, and Sentiment). View all the top stocks in the Industrial – Equipment industry here.

Bottom Line

PLUG’s bottom line is in the red. Moreover, analysts expect PLUG’s EPS to fall 40% per annum for the next five years. Also, considering its poor profitability, I think the overvalued stock might be best avoided now.

How Does Plug Power Inc. (PLUG) Stack Up Against its Peers?

While PLUG has an overall POWR Rating of F, one might consider looking at its industry peers, nVent Electric plc (NVT), Belden Inc. (BDC), and NL Industries, Inc. (NL), which have an overall A (Strong Buy) rating.

PLUG shares were trading at $29.77 per share on Friday afternoon, up $0.65 (+2.23%). Year-to-date, PLUG has gained 5.46%, versus a -13.70% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

About the Author: Riddhima Chakraborty

Riddhima is a financial journalist with a passion for analyzing financial instruments. With a master's degree in economics, she helps investors make informed investment decisions through her insightful commentaries.


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