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Why FuelCell Energy, Plug Power, and Bloom Energy All Plunged Today

What happened

Shares of hydrogen fuel cell stocks FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL), Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG), and Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE) are on the move again in Wednesday morning trading -- and specifically, they're moving down. As of 10:55 a.m. EST, Plug shares are off 2.2%, Bloom Energy is down 4.8%, and FuelCell Energy stock is doing worst of all -- crashing 21.5%.

And if that has you thinking that might somehow all be FuelCell's fault -- you're right!

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

In fact, I think I might go so far as to say that today's sell-off is entirely due to FuelCell and its decision, announced last night after close of trading, to sell at least 34.5 million shares of common stock -- and perhaps as many as 39.7 million shares, at a price 28% below where FuelCell stock closed yesterday.

Specifically, FuelCell's stock offering will come in three parts:

  • First, it will issue and sell 19.8 million new shares of the company at $6.50 apiece.
  • Simultaneously, certain FuelCell shareholders will sell 14.7 million more shares at the same price.
  • And shortly thereafter, underwriters of the stock offering may or may not (but probably will) decide to buy 5.2 million more shares of the company -- which FuelCell would create and issue.

Now what

Now what does all of this mean to investors in FuelCell Energy (and Plug Power and Bloom Energy, for that matter)?

For FuelCell Energy investors, it's kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand, 25 million new shares will spring into existence, diluting existing investors out of about 7.8% of their stake in the company. On the other hand, FuelCell should gross about $162.5 million in cash from the stock sale. Should its management so desire, this sum, combined with existing cash on hand, could nearly wipe out FuelCell's $196 million debt load.

That should be good news for the company's investors, except for the nagging worry: If this stock sale is really good news for FuelCell, then why are other investors -- representing nearly 5% of all shares currently outstanding -- deciding to exit the stock at this point and sell their shares?

When you look at the sympathetic stock sales at Plug Power and Bloom today, it appears that other investors may be asking the same question. In fact, I kind of wonder about that myself.

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Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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