Plug Power: Best-Performing Legit Tech Play of 2014

Jacob Harper  |

Plug Power Inc. (PLUG) came out of the gate on Mar 10 running, and by midday trading had gained significantly on exceptionally heavy volume. The hydrogen fuel manufacturer has attracted a considerable amount of investor attention this year on a series of successive stock pops, and now can call itself the single best-performing tech play of 2014.

Plug Power’s rise can be attributed both to the overall surge of the green energy sector and a wave of big deals – notably one with Wal Mart Stores (WMT) to supply forklift power and another with FedEx (FDX) to outfit a fleet of delivery trucks with green batteries. Concerning the green energy sector, the government has made clear their interest in the success of Plug Power and businesses of their stripe, giving favorable loans to both them and Fuel Cell Energy (FCEL) . Fuel Cell received $2.8 million from the Department of Energy to build a new plant, similar to the $3 million they gave for the FedEx/Plug Power deal.

With the Mar 10 action, Plug Power surpassed internet start-up LiveDeal (LIVE) as the tech sector’s top 2014 performer. Unlike LiveDeal, whose rise in 2014 is highly questionable and appears to be built solely on a series of paid-for market research reports, Plug Power has verifiable revenue streams and confirmed, lucrative projects to back up their 2014 stock pop.

Of course, whether or not the rise constitutes a bubble is still very much up in the air. The first test of Plug Power’s rapid rise will come when the fuel cell manufacturer reports earnings on March 13.

For the time being though, Plug Power has rewarded investors handsomely this year. After gaining as much as 34 percent, Plug Power cooled off and by 1:35 PM EST had gained 26.24 percent on the day to hit $10.35 a share.

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