Why Are Shares of Plug Power (PLUG) Down Today?

Tumbling to a price of $16.97 during today's morning trading session, shares of Plug Power are now -44.2% below their average target price of $30.41. Does this mean the stock will reverse course? Analysts are giving PLUG an average rating of buy and target prices ranging from $15 to $78 dollars per share.

For the greater market's outlook on the stock, we can use Plug Power's short interest as a proxy. The short interest represents the proportion of the float's shares that are tied to short positions, meaning that the investor believes the stock will decline in the future. Here, the stock's short interest is 12.5% which means the outlook is split.

When a stock is sold short, it means an investor has borrowed shares of the stock from their broker, and then sold them at the going market price. The investor hopes for the price to decline, so that they might buy those shares back at a lower price in the future. Once they do, they can return the borrowed shares to their broker, and keep the profit they made on the transaction.

One way to get an idea of the market sentiment on a stock is to check its rate of institutional ownership. In the case of Plug Power, institutional investors own 54.7% of the shares, which indicates they have a very high stake in the company. What does this really tell us?

Institutional investors such as hedge funds, investment firms, and wealth managers devote significant resources to identifying good investments. If they have decided to invest in PLUG, it probably means they believe it is a solid investment choice.

But it could also mean they are buying up shares in an effort to acquire the company or to get seats on the board of directors. Also bear in mind that institutions are fallible (just maybe not quite as fallible as the average retail investor), so they may simply be wrong when they think they've found a good stock.

To sum up, Plug Power is probably the subject of mixed market sentiment because of its an analyst consensus of strong upside potential, a buy rating, a large percentage of its shares sold short, and an average number of institutional investors. At Market Inference, we believe that any investment decision should be preceded by an in-depth analysis of the company's fundamental values and a comparison with similar stocks.

Here's a snapshot of some important facts to keep in mind about PLUG:

  • The stock has trailing 12 month earnings per share (Eps) of $-0.97

  • Plug Power has a trailing 12 month Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of -17.5 compared to the S&P 500 average of 15.97

  • The company has a Price to Book (P/B) ratio of 2.3 in contrast to the S&P 500's average ratio of 2.95

  • Plug Power is a Industrials company, and the sector average P/E and P/B ratios are 21.46 and 3.7 respectively

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The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.