UPDATE 2-Plug Power revenue doubles as fuel cell demand soars
* Expects product gross margin to reach mid-20 pct in Q4
* Shares rise as much 10.6 pct (Adds details from the conference call, updates shares)
Aug 14 (Reuters) - Plug Power Inc's revenue more than doubled, beating the average analyst estimate, helped by higher demand from customers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc , which uses its hydrogen fuel cells to power forklifts.
Plug Power, whose shares rose as much as 10.6 percent in early trading, became the first listed North American fuel-cell maker to turn a net profit as it recorded a gain on stock warrants.
The company, which deployed its first hydrogen fuel cell unit at a Wal-Mart site in the second quarter, reported a 17 percent gross margin in its product business.
Plug Power said it expects gross margin in the product business to reach the mid-20 percent in the fourth quarter.
The company said it is investing more to ensure its service business turns profitable "early next year."
Plug Power also said it expects "a plethora of global opportunities" from the auto-manufacturing market as its customers begin to use hydrogen fuel cells at manufacturing sites worldwide.
Plug Power customers such as Daimler AG and BMW AG use fuel cells to power forklifts and other material handling devices at their warehouses. Continued...