Why Plug Power Inc's Shares Plunged 12% Today

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.

What: Shares of fuel cell company Plug Power Inc plunged as much as 12% today after reporting fourth-quarter earnings.

So what: Revenue for the quarter jumped 169% to $21.5 million but fell well short of the $26.3 million estimate from analysts. On the bottom line, net loss shrunk from $28.9 million a year ago to $7.2 million but was helped by some one-time items. On an adjusted basis, net loss was $13.3 million, or a loss of $0.08 per share, which fell short of the $0.04 loss Wall Street expected.

Now what: Operating conditions are certainly getting better for Plug Power but not at the rate investors had anticipated. That will happen when your stock is up 1,100% over the course of two years.

Expectations from investors may have gotten too high and the stock price likely did as well. That's why even strong growth can result in a new 52-week low for a stock. I don't think this quarterly report is a fundamental reason to change your investment thesis, but it may take longer to ramp up product shipments and profits than previously expected, so I would lower expectations for 2015 and hope management can beat expectations as the year goes on.

The article Why Plug Power Inc's Shares Plunged 12% Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.

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