NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Plug Power (PLUG) - Get Report were gaining 5.4% to $3.24 Tuesday after the fuel cell company announced changes to its corporate management team.

The company announced that it hired Tim Cortes as its new Vice President of Hydrogen. Cortes will oversee Plug Power's GenFuel business as part of the position. Cortes previously served as the CTO and Vice President of Engineering at Smiths Power, and was responsible for R&D and global application solutions.

Plug Power also announced that it promoted Jose Luis Crespo to the new position of Vice President of Global Sales. Crespo will be responsible for the global sales strategy, sales growth, and market entry for the GenDrive and ReliOn brands. Crespo joined Plug Power in January 2014, and led international sales and business development activity for the past year.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates PLUG POWER INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PLUG POWER INC (PLUG) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$11.09 million or 58.18% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • PLUG has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 13.18% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Electrical Equipment industry and the overall market, PLUG POWER INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • PLUG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 7.84, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • PLUG POWER INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, PLUG POWER INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.79 versus -$0.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.19 versus -$0.79).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PLUG Ratings Report

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