Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) is a difficult company to trade right now. The company’s huge valuation and unstable  market position make it a risky bet, and volatility in shares of the firm has lost millions for some investors. As the company’s second quarter earnings close in, it’s important to ask what would how the company can impress investors this time around.

Plug Power

The fuel cell maker is going to release its earnings numbers for the three months through June at the beginning of August, but it’s not clear what would convince investors to stick with the company through the next year. The company’s contract with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and greater excitement in the alternative energy market in general, has brought some investors around, but the financials may send many running for the hills.

Plug Power Q2 divides opinion

Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG)will release earnings numbers at the beginning of August, but the exact date has not been revealed just yet. There’s no telling what numbers momentum and other short term traders might respond to in the direct wake of the release, so in order to build a picture of a good Q2, it’s better to assume the point of view of a buy-and-hold investor.

Analysts reckon that the company will lose 4 cents per share for the second quarter on revenue totaling $16.95 million.

Yao says that the important factors in the second quarter are the company’s efforts to secure more bookings, and its actual contracts in the second quarter, product cost reductions, making sales more likely, and an opening up of the company’s systems to fuel cells from ReliOn.

Plug Power stock causes anxiety

Stock in the company has more than tripled since the start of 2014, and the company’s value has increased by more than 1100% in the last twelve months. That massive spike in valuation has caused many investors to get nervous about the future of the company. Without generating massive success very quickly, investors may exit their positions in the stock very quickly, leaving slower losers, and those that bought in recently, stuck with massive losses.

The Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) stock story this year has been far from easy to explain. The company’s massive valuation, and the momentum trading backing it up, has caused a large amount of volatility so far this year. After hitting a high of more than $10 per share in March, but has lost more than half of its value since then. The market has been unsure about the fuel cell market so far this year, and that is likely to continue until some kind of proof of efficacy has been offered.

The company’s future is often talked up by those with positions in the stock but, unless there is going to be the announcement of a new major contract or technological achievement, Q2 is too close to call and playing the earnings of a company with such a high valuation is not in the wheelhouse of most investors. Even seasoned risk takers may find it difficult to describe what they want from Q2.