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Sector Snap: Alternative energy companies

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of alternative energy companies Plug Power and FuelCell continued to rise Tuesday after a Cowen and Co. analyst offered optimistic commentary on both companies.

Analyst Robert Stone rates shares of Plug Power Inc. and FuelCell Energy Inc. at "Outperform." He said Plug Power could complete its 2014 contract bookings by the end of March, and a new deal with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other orders should allow the company to reach its annual revenue target.

Stone said FuelCell took a larger-than-expected loss in the fiscal first quarter, but its sales were also stronger than expected and the Danbury, Conn., company has significant orders that should be approved soon.

Shares of Plug Power have surged over the last three months. They closed at 79 cents before the company reported its fiscal third-quarter results on Dec. 4, and finished at $10.31 on Monday. In late February the Latham, N.Y.-based company said it would roll out hydrogen fuel cells to six of Wal-Mart's distribution centers to power electric lift truck fleets. The first site should be deployed by the end of the second quarter, and Stone said the deal should be worth more than $50 million in annual revenue to Plug Power.

The company's stock rose 43 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $10.74 in midday trading.

Shares of FuelCell picked up 56 cents, or 14 percent, to $4.49. The stock has doubled in value in March, climbing to $3.93 from $1.95.