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The Ratings Game: Plug Power stock soars to match its longest win streak in two years after Morgan Stanley says buy ahead of analyst day

Shares of Plug Power Inc. soared in active trading to a seventh straight gain on Wednesday, matching the longest win streak in two years, after Morgan Stanley analyst Stephen Byrd recommended buying a day before the hydrogen and fuel-cell systems company’s analyst day.

Plug also announced before the open agreements with aerospace giant Airbus SE
EADSY,
+0.40%

AIR,
+0.69%

and energy and logistics company Phillips 66
PSX,
-0.92%

to develop green hydrogen business opportunities.

The stock
PLUG,
+12.79%

ran up 12.8% to $33.59, the highest close since June 30. It has rocketed 38.1% since it last lost ground on Oct. 4, when it closed at $24.32. Trading volume ballooned to 85.3 million shares, or nearly five-times the full-day average.

The latest seven-day win streak ties for the longest stretch of gains since the nine-day streak that ended Sept. 16, 2019. Since then, there have been two other seven-day win streaks, one ending in January 2021 and the other ending in November 2019.

The gains have come ahead of the company’s “Plug Symposium 2021: Here Comes Green Hydrogen,” which is scheduled to kick off on Thursday, at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Also read: Plug Power stock jumps to a 6th straight gain ahead of much-awaited annual symposium.

FactSet, MarketWatch

Morgan Stanley’s Byrd raised his rating to overweight, six months after resuming coverage of Plug at equal weight. He raised his stock price target to $40 from $35.

Byrd said there were three main reasons for the upgrade:

  • “We see a high likelihood that Plug will give a positive update at its upcoming investor day and see a strong catalyst path ahead.”
  • “Significant upside from potential legislative support for green hydrogen, which could be a meaningful driver of hydrogen adoption.”
  • “Stock performance has led to favorable risk-reward skew.”

He lifted his 2024 revenue estimate by $300 million to $2 billion, which compares with the current FactSet consensus of $1.68 billion.

Byrd believes “a very large amount” of green hydrogen is needed for the U.S. to hit its decarbonization targets, and sees Plug as one of the best positioned companies to benefit.

For the company’s investor day, Byrd is “most excited” about what the company will say about its electrolyzer business, where he expects more detail on the potential pipeline of sales and customer announcements.

He noted that Plug has already begun construction of several of its own hydrogen production facilities, which could lead to announcements of several “offtake” agreements.

Within stationary power, Byrd believes Plug will announce a large data-center customer on Thursday.

And regarding the potential legislative boost, Byrd said recent budget reconciliation language suggests the adoption of green hydrogen will accelerate beyond his assumptions. He said legislative support for low-carbon hydrogen could add $9-to-$10 per share to his stock price target.

Plug’s stock has lost 0.9% year to date, but has rallied 94.2% over the past 12 months. In comparison, the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+0.30%

has gained 16.2% this year and advanced 25.1% over the past year.

Earlier Wednesday, Plug said it partnered with Airbus to study the feasibility of bringing green hydrogen to future aircraft and airports, as part of Airbus’s goal of bringing zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035.

“We’ve already revolutionized electric trucks and industrial fleets on the ground, so now we’re turning our sights to the skies,” Plug Chief Executive Andy Marsh said.

Plug also announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Phillips 66 to develop green hydrogen business opportunities.

“We believe hydrogen is an important pathway for hard-to-electrify industries in a lower-carbon energy landscape,” said Heath DePriest, vice president of Phillip 66’s Emerging Energy group.

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