Fuel Cell shares jump as investors bet on clean power

miércoles 5 de marzo de 2014 16:34 GYT

By Chuck Mikolajczak, Garima Goel and Sneha Banerjee

(Reuters) - Shares of Fuel Cell Energy Inc FCEL.O surged as much as 25 percent to a four-year high, the main beneficiary on Wednesday of investors' bet on a cleaner way to power vehicles such as electric buses and forklifts.

U.S.-listed fuel cell makers, already on a tear in recent months, have surged in value since Plug Power Inc (PLUG.O: Cotización) announced a contract last week to supply Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Cotización).

The contract, to supply fuel cells to power forklifts in Wal-Mart's warehouses, has been valued by analysts at $50 million - "not a bad estimate", according to Plug Power Chief Executive Andy Marsh, who spoke to Reuters on Tuesday.

Investors are convinced similar deals will follow as companies ditch lead-acid batteries for cleaner technology.

But uncertainty about the sustainability of their fortunes has also drawn short sellers, who are betting that these stocks are overvalued and will tank.

FuelCell Energy was the most traded stock on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, with more than 94 million shares changing hands by 1453 ET. The stock peaked at $3.40 in early trading, its highest since January 2010.

FuelCell's shares have jumped more than 60 percent over the past five trading days and have more than tripled in the past 12 months, including Wednesday's early gains.

That performance pales, however, when compared to Plug Power's surge of more than 4,000 percent in the past year. Its shares, also among the most traded on the Nasdaq, rose as much as 5 percent on Wednesday, with nearly 48 million traded.   Continuación...