Why Ballard Power Systems Rocketed Up 55% Today and Took The Fuel Cell Industry With It

By Markets Fool.com

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

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What: Shares of Ballard Power Systems were sent into the stratosphere today -- up by as much as 55% -- on news that it had executed an $80 million deal with Volkswagen that involves the sale of some intellectual property as well as an extension of its engineering services contract. The deal has also lifted the shares of both Plug Power and FuelCell Energy by as much as 10%.

So What: Ballard has been working with Volkswagen for several years now under these engineering services contracts, and the two year extension will provide the company with $80 million-$110 million in revenue over the next six years with another option to extend the agreement for another two. The bigger deal here is the sale of patents. In exchange for some of Ballard's intellectual property, Volkswagen is giving the company about $40-$60 million, which will give a nice bump for the quarterly numbers but won't provide a whole lot of long term value.

For the rest of the lot, fuel cell companies have been moving on prospective news, even if the news didn't necessarily pertain to that particular company. This was on full display with FuelCell Energy and Plug Power. Ballard is the only one of these three companies targeting the automotive industry, so for Plug and FuelCell to move this much goes to show that it was more on the hopes that fuel cells will play a larger role in the future rather than a bottom line impact.

Now what: Hopefully, everyone learned their lesson when it came to these companies last year. Announcements of big deals come few and far between, and the constant slog of quarterly losses eventually reminds investors that these companies are a long ways away from steady growth and profitability. Deals like this are a step in the right direction, but it's only one step on a very long road.

The article Why Ballard Power Systems Rocketed Up 55% Today and Took The Fuel Cell Industry With It originally appeared on Fool.com.

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Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned.You can follow him at Fool.com under the handle TMFDirtyBird, onGoogle+,or on Twitter@TylerCroweFool. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.