Is Ballard Power Really Back?

24/7 Wall St.

Hydrogen Car
Canada-based fuel cell developer Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BLDP) is getting a jolt on Friday after yesterday’s announcement that it had signed a non-bind agreement to develop zero-emissions, fuel cell vehicles with Netherlands-based Van Hool NV, Europe’s fourth-largest bus maker. According to the announcement there will be 27 Van Hool fuel cell buses operating in Europe next year, all powered by Ballard fuel cell systems.

Ballard began trading publicly in the mid-1990s and the stock shot up to well over $100 a share in 2000 and posted an all-time low of $0.57 just last month. Shares have more than tripled since then.

In its most recent quarter, ended in September, the company reported revenues of $17 million and a gross margin of 28%. Not much, but so far this year revenues are more than 60% higher than the first nine months of 2012. There are no profits, but the loss in the third quarter of this year was $0.05, half what it was in the third quarter of last year.

Is Ballard back? Shares are trading up more than 22% in the late afternoon on Friday, at $1.75 and more than 12 million shares have traded hands today, about 12 times average daily volume. The stock’s 52-week range is $0.57 to $2.39.

That’s still a long ways from $100 a share, but it is better than the $1.13 share price in December 5 years ago. Back is a relative term, however, and for a stock this close to being declared legally dead to show any life is a positive sign. Just don’t bet the farm that the patient will live.

Filed under: Energy Business Tagged: BLDP

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