Plug Power announces quarterly revenue hike

Latham-based hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power on Thursday announced increased year-over-ye

Latham-based hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power on Thursday announced increased year-over-year revenues for the first three months of this year but also increased net loss.

Plug Power posted 2008 first-quarter revenues of $3.7 million, up from $2.6 million in first quarter 2007. Net loss was $20.7 million, 24 cents per share, compared with $11.2 million in first quarter 2007.

Company officials attributed most of the increase in net loss to the operating costs associated with Plug Power Canada, formed from Cellex Power Products and General Hydrogen Corporation. Plug Power acquired those companies in 2007.

New President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Marsh said Plug Power’s customers in the telecommunications industry continue to show interest in the company’s GenCore hydrogen fuel cell backup power system. He said uncertainty over the implications of the Federal Communications Commission’s new rules on backup power requirements has stymied increased sales for the system.

“Although our backup power systems have not seen the ramp-up in orders for the wireless telecommunications industry that we would like, orders remain steady,” he said.

Plug Power reported follow-on orders for its GenDrive fuel cell system, used as replacement technology for batteries used in fork lifts, from Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire. Company officials said initial deployments with Sysco Foods and Ace Hardware Corporation have proven successful and Plug Power expects to soon deploy the GenDrive systems at a Wal-Mart warehouse.

“Taken together, all of this activity in the motive power market points to the widespread interest in a hydrogen power solution by operators of large warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities,” Marsh said.

Plug Power officials also discussed the company’s new high-temperature GenSys fuel cell system. The new fuel cell product was showcased at a trade show in Germany in April. The device generates electricity and heat for residential homes.

“We expect this system to create value by lowering utility bills and reducing a home’s carbon footprint,” Marsh said.

Total GenCore, GenDrive and GenSys product shipments in the first quarter equaled 61 units; new unit orders equaled 54.

Investors responded positively to Plug Power’s first quarter results, raising the value of the stock 12 cents, almost 4 percent, in above-average trading Thursday. The stock closed at $3.20.

Categories: Business

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