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Plug Power (PLUG) Didn't Do Too Badly This Quarter

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's been a rollercoaster of a week for Plug Power (PLUG - Get Report) shares after a report from Citron Research threw water on recent explosive growth among fuel-cell developers. But a better-than-expected earnings report out from the company this morning is reigniting investor appetite in the stock.

Latham, N.Y.-based Plug Power reported adjusted net losses of $8 million, or 8 cents a share, in the three months to December, a narrower loss than $9.6 million, or 22 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The results were in line with average forecasts compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue soared nearly 36% to $8 million, while bookings climbed to $32 million, a result of increased sales and maintenance orders from key customers such as Wal-Mart (WMT), Kroger (KR) and BMW. Total sales came in higher than analysts' estimates for $7.45 million.

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However, shipments nearly halved to 279 units over the fourth quarter compared to 518 units over the same period a year earlier.

Management said sales orders for fiscal 2014 have already exceeded $60 million. Plug Power's optimism is partly based on a Wal-Mart contract announced earlier in the year which will see it deliver hydrogen infrastructure to six of the retailer's North American distribution centers through to 2015.

"I am more bullish than ever that Plug Power is moving into a rapid-growth cycle," said CEO Andy Marsh in a statement. "I firmly believe that this continuing momentum will carry on throughout 2014, and that orders for this year will total more than $150 million -- almost four times our total for 2013."

Shares were rocketing higher in pre-market trading. Before the bell, the stock was up 10% to $7.48. Shares have yet to fully recover from significant losses suffered since Citron's research was released mid-Tuesday. Plug Power opened Tuesday at around $11.44 a share.

Fellow fuel-cell developers Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) and FuelCell Energy (FCEL) are being pulled higher. Ballard has surged 10.6% to $5.93, while FuelCell is up 6.8% to $3.60.

In its report, Citron analyst said Plug Power would be fairly valued at 50 cents, a blended average of recent capital raises. The firm also estimated the company has lost close to $850 million since the 2000 crash and has yet to develop intellectual property or "meaningful revenue growth."

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