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Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG) gained 24.67% today (Monday), and that's just a small slice of the 565.16% surge PLUG stock has seen so far in 2014.
Last week, the alternative energy company was on an absolute tear. PLUG stock logged a net gain of 77%, despite a 5.78% drop Thursday on news that Plug Power would be conducting a $22.4 million secondary offering.
The company said it plans to use the net proceeds from the sale for working capital and other general purchases, such as capital expenditures.
Investor skepticism was dispelled Friday, when PLUG Chief Executive Officer Andrew Marsh debuted on the mainstream media stage with a midday interview on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
"Andy will talk about his vision for Plug Power and the phenomenal growth that the company has seen recently," Plug Power's press release read. "Viewers will get an inside glimpse of the laboratory, testing, and manufacturing areas within the Plug Power facilities. It is here that the GenDrive hydrogen fuel cell units are developed and produced."
Investors liked what they saw – PLUG stock climbed 30.03% Friday.
The momentum lasted through the weekend into Monday, with shares now sitting at $10.36 per share, compared to $6.36 per share at Thursday's close.
Today's surge could also be due in part to a PLUG share price that now sits solidly over the $5 per share mark, which is often the minimum threshold that many institutional investors and mutual funds will consider.
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Plug Power is one of a handful of companies in the alternative energy sector that's on fire in 2014, such as Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA). TSLA stock is up 58.77% in 2014 to $238.84 per share. It's gained 520.85% since this day in 2013.
Plug Power provides alternative energy technology that's focused on the design, development, commercialization, and manufacture of fuel cell systems for the industrial off-road (forklift or material handling) market.
Money Morning has featured the microcap company several times since the start of the year. In January, we included PLUG in a look at our 5 stocks to watch under $5.
Here's why Plug Power – and its investors – have been scoring massive gains to kick off the New Year…
Plug Power Stock (Nasdaq: PLUG) Is Blooming from Deals in 2014
What initially caught our eye was the Latham, N.Y. company's Jan. 17 deal with FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) to develop hydrogen fuel cell extenders for 20 FedEx electric trucks.
The news that day sent shares soaring 68% to a 52-week high of $4.90.
Hot on its heels came a second deal on Feb. 26 – and this is the one that has PLUG netting massive gains in 2014.
Plug Power signed a contract with the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT). WMT would purchase 1,738 more of PLUG's signature GenDrive fuel cell units. On top of that, Wal-Mart contracted with PLUG to supply the requisite hydrogen needed to drive the units for a six-year period.
Wal-Mart had already been using PLUG's hydrogen fuel cells at two refrigerated distribution centers, but the February order tripled the number Wal-Mart presently had in use. It represents nearly 40% of PLUG's total installed fuel cell bases of around 4,500 units.
The shift to hydrogen fuel cells is WMT's attempt at getting away from dirtier, less environmentally friendly batteries and fueling options. Starting in Q2 2014, a Wal-Mart store based in Bentonville, Ark., will use PLUG's GenDrive cells in electric lift trucks to transport products around six North American distribution centers.
From a year ago today, PLUG stock has risen a meteoric 5,859.54%.