Fuel cell maker Hydrogenics' loss triples; shares slump

Wed May 7, 2014 11:41am EDT
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By Sneha Banerjee

(Reuters) - Canadian fuel cell maker Hydrogenics Corp's (HYG.TO: Quote) (HYGS.O: Quote) quarterly net loss tripled as costs jumped and customers delayed taking deliveries, driving the company's shares down as much as 15 percent.

The company's quarterly sales fell for the first time in two years and its order backlog for the first quarter ended March 31 rose 2.6 percent, slower than the growth in the preceding two quarters.

Hydrogenics' results also weighed on the shares of rival fuel cell makers Ballard Power Systems Inc BLD.TO BLDP.O and Fuel Cell Energy Inc (FCEL.O: Quote).

Fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and offer a cleaner alternative to lead-acid batteries. They are used in everything from power backup to forklifts to refrigerators.

The clean technology had captured the attention of investors over the past year and they pushed the stock of fuel cell makers rose to multi-year highs earlier this year.

But lingering worries about the sustainability of the companies were aggravated last week when privately owned fuel cell maker ClearEdge Power Inc filed for bankruptcy protection.

"I think the Clear Edge filing will make it difficult for less mature or commercially centered players to attract capital," Canaccord Genuity analyst Sara Elford told Reuters earlier this week.

Hydrogenics on Wednesday reported that its net loss widened to $3.7 million, or 41 cents per share, in the first quarter from $1.1 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.   Continued...