Motley Fool on fuelcells
Alternative energy upstart FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL) will report
earnings tomorrow morning for the third quarter of fiscal year 2006.
We'll take a look at the company to see whether or not we should
expect sparks flying in the morning sun.
If that describes you, I hope you're prepared to hold on for a few
years, at the very least. This kind of change don't happen overnight,
as a full-blown fuel cell revolution will take significant
infrastructure changes and the technology is still not ready for prime
time. Even FuelCell says that the power efficiency of its generators
is only at 30%. That's about even with diesel efficiency and much
better than the 11% or so for state-of-the-art solar panels, but well
below the target efficiency of 50% for the type of large fuel cell
generators that FuelCell Energy makes.
This stock is expensive -- regardless of what metric or method you use
for valuation -- and responds to the slightest surprise with wild
swings. It's always tricky to come up with an accurate forecast for a
small company like this, where the timing of a large order or two can
substantially change the income statement, so I won't try. Right now,
fuel cells are more of a gamble than an investment, and Fools rarely
reach for the dice.
* Ballard Power (Nasdaq: BLDP)
* Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq: ENER)
* Honeywell International (NYSE: HON)
* Plug Power (Nasdaq: PLUG)
* Millennium Cell (Nasdaq: MCEL)
* Teledyne Technologies (NYSE: TDY)