Shares in Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) continued to increase in value on Tuesday morning as analysts following the company appeared to continue their optimistic research on its future. Investors in the fuel cell maker have had a tough time in recent years, but a new deal with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NAYSE:WMT) appears to have reignited interest in the firm’s future, and sent shares flying upward in recent days.

Plug Power

In the last five days trading shares in Plug Power Inc. (NYSE:PLUG) have gained close to 45%. On today’s market the shares were up by around 8% at 11 AM EST. The company’s valuation is expanding on the back of optimistic reports from several different analysts, with a piece of research from Roth Capital forming the base of Monday’s spectacular rise in value.

Plug Power business may pick up

Plug Power Inc. (NYSE:PLUG) is now worth more than $1 billion, and the company’s future may be looking up, despite the $200 million loss the company recorded last year. According to several recent reports on the company, 2014 may be the first time that it manages to hit its goals, and significantly expand demand for its hydrogen fuel cells in the United States.

An FBR report on the company concentrated on that movement, and the possibility of an expansion into Europe to support the analysts’ price target of $8 on shares in Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ:PLUG). Analysts from Roth, while still optimistic about the company going ahead, reckon that a price target of $4.75 is fairer, given the firm’s lousy financial history and unproven business model.

Plug Power tries to relive glory days

Despite the incredible increase in value in just a few days, stock in Plug Power Inc. (NYSE:PLUG) is not anywhere near its all time high. During the frenzy of the dotcom bubble shares in the company hit highs of more than $1300. more than a decade of massive under-performance led the company to this point, which appears like a blip on the company’s longer term stock chart.

The rise in prominence of alternative energy in recent years has brought focus back to Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ:PLUG), however, though some have argued that this decade’s focus mirrors that of last decade a little too clearly. The company’s future may look better than it did a year ago, but justifying a valuation of more than $1 billion usually requires a company to put together a profit, or, at the very least, something that could be turned into a profit in the medium term.

In the year 2000 it didn’t look like Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ:PLUG) had much of anything to profit on. Right now the company looks like it may be able to attract customers to its fuel cell solutions, but the competition is going to be tough and there is no guarantee of rampant success in the medium term. Value oriented investors will stay well away from any play on Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ:PLUG), and, should the company’s fundamentals become stronger, take another look a few years down the line.