JPMorgan, Other Large Institutional Investors Poured into PLUG Stock in Q1
America’s largest bank invested a significant amount of money in Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) last quarter, and fewer shares of PLUG stock have been sold short outside of the major exchanges in recent days, data compiled by Fintel shows.
Nasdaq-traded PLUG stock is down 32% year to date. The average 12-month price target for Plug Power is $21.57. The forecasts range from a low of $7.58 to a high of $81.90. Mid-session today, the shares are trading hands at $8.26 a piece.
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Plug Power is a leading provider of alternative energy technology focused on the design, development, commercialization and manufacture of hydrogen fuel cell systems used primarily for the material handling and stationary power market, according to its Finpedia entry.
The company is fast becoming one of the world’s largest developers of green hydrogen and recently announced a significant new deal.
Let’s dive into the details.
JPMorgan and Other Large Institutional Investors Bought PLUG Stock in Q1
In the first quarter, JPMorgan, America’s largest bank, bought 1.966 million shares of PLUG stock, including a call option on 940,700 shares, bringing its total ownership of PLUG shares to 2.566 million shares. Data compiled by Fintel shows itts stake was worth $11 million on May 18, when the bank reported its position.
Meanwhile, Point72 Asset Management, the hedge fund led by Steve Cohen, the well-known, multi-billionaire investor, bought PLUG shares for the first time in Q1, acquiring 2.277 million of them, the fund disclosed on May 15. Included in those shares was a call option on 28,900 shares of PLUG stock.
Additionally, apparently as a hedge on its purchase, Point72 acquired a put option on 4,500 shares. For its part, Ameriprise Financial acquired 107,389 shares of PLUG stock in Q1. Finally, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board acquired 215,200 shares last quarter and State Street bought 1.05 million shares, while Morgan Stanley added 1.187 million shares.
Put/Call Ratios and Short-Selling Data
PLUG’s put/call ratios have been generally bullish, Fintel’s dashboard shows. As of May 25, the put/call ratios for options expiring on May 26, June 2, June 9, and June 16 were 0.66, 0.50, 0.29, and 0.57, respectively.
The trend of Plug’s put/call ratios has generally been fairly stable in recent weeks, as the ratio has stayed between 0.64 and 0.78 for the entire month. On May 22, May 23, and May 24, the ratio was either 0.64 or 0.65.
In the last few days, the percentage of PLUG’s trading volume being sold short outside of the main stock exchanges has declined significantly. On May 23, short sales accounted for 49% of PLUG’s “off-exchange” volume, and on May 24, the equivalent figure was 50.57%. On May 22, the figure came in at 43.69%.
Conversely, from May 16 to May 19, the percentage of PLUG’s trading volume being sold short outside of the main stock exchanges ranged from 54.89% to 67.71%.
However, a very large percentage of the off-exchange trading volume of PLUG stock still consists of short sales. Consequently, PLUG stock may still undergo a short squeeze in the near term or the medium term.
The shares garnered a Short Squeeze Score of 65.89 on Fintel’s dashboard, ranking PLUG stock at number 1,714 out of 4,604 stocks analyzed. The scoring model uses a combination of short interest, float, short borrow fee rates, and other metrics. The number ranges from 0 to 100, with higher numbers indicating a higher risk of a short squeeze relative to its peers, and 50 being the average.
Recent Big Deals
On May 22, the company announced that it made deals to supply five megawatt (MW) electrolyzers to three European companies. Electrolyzers are used to create green hydrogen, i.e. hydrogen created using power from renewable energy.
One of the firms is a Swedish glass packaging producer, while another is a Norway-based aluminum recycling firm and the third is a German steelmaker.
The deals are encouraging because they indicate that Plug may be able to sell electrolyzers to a significant number of industrial firms.
The Q1 2023 results reported earlier this month showed revenue of $210.3 million. Current quarterly revenue estimates for the company from seven analysts for the June-end quarter look for sales of $303 million. Looking out as far as Q4 2025, the analysts’ average is $960 million.
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