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Ballard Power Misses Q1 Forecasts After Auto Supplier Inks Fuel-Cell Pact

Business

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) fell short of first-quarter estimates late Monday after announcing an alliance with Linamar to sell fuel cell powertrains. BLDP stock sank.

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BLDP Stock, Earnings

Estimates: A loss of 5 cents per share vs. a 6 cent loss in the year-ago quarter. Revenue is seen rising 7.3% to $25.7 million.

Results: Loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $17.6 million, down 26%. Power Products revenue dropped 25% to $9.4 million due largely to lower product shipments to China. Technology Solutions revenue declined 29% to $8.2 million due mainly to lower amounts earned from the Audi program.

Ballard received $11.8 million in new orders during Q1, but after deliveries, the backlog fell by $5.8 million from Q4 to end at $112 million in Q1.

“Supported by a strengthening policy backdrop and increased customer engagement, we have clearer line of sight on long-term growth in our core medium- and heavy-duty motive applications of bus, truck, rail and marine,” said CEO Randy MacEwen. “As a result, 2021 will be marked by increased and accelerated investment ahead of market tipping points.”

Outlook: In its Q4 report, Ballard set a 2021 capital commitment of $79.5 million.

Stock: Shares tumbled 20% to 16.23 on the stock market today. BLDP stock has lost more than half its value since hitting a high of 42.28 on Feb. 9, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.

Among other fuel-cell stocks, FuelCell Energy (FCEL) lost 6% Tuesday, Plug Power (PLUG) dropped 7%, and Bloom Energy (BE) gave up 7.1%.


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Auto Supplier Taps Ballard

Ballard Power said it would work with Canadian automobile parts manufacturer Linamar to build fuel cell powertrains and components for passenger cars, SUVs, light trucks and commercial vans weighing up to five tons. The products initially will be marketed for North America and Europe.

“In addition to our existing joint working relationship on the recently announced UPS delivery vans trial in California, we now deepen our collaboration based on a joint vision to provide zero-emission fuel cell powertrains for light-duty vehicles, particularly those that require long range, extended duty cycle and rapid refueling,” Ballard CEO Randy MacEwen said in the release.

The Linamar pact comes after Canadian Pacific (CP) announced in March that Ballard fuel-cell modules will be used for the railroad operator’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program, an effort to build North America’s first hydrogen-powered freight locomotive.

Ballard will deliver six of its 200-kilowatt fuel-cell modules to the railroad operator this year.

Hydrogen fuel cells are gaining popularity as renewable energy investment has been on the rise globally following the enactment of the Paris Climate Agreement. Even Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest energy company, sees a huge potential for hydrogen fuel.

Follow Gillian Rich on Twitter for energy news and more.

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