May 29, 2015
The Plug POWERTrip – our six-city investor road show – spent the morning at the Ritz Carlton Dallas with a group of our “Big D” investors. CEO Andy Marsh began his career in the Dallas area at Lucent Bell Laboratories before co-founding Valere Power in 2001 and serving as its CEO until 2007. VP Hydrogen, Tim Cortes also spent significant time in Texas in his past life. Both Andy and Tim were excited to return and to have the chance to speak with shareholders today.
Andy Marsh kicked off the presentation saying, “It’s great to be back home in Dallas, where I lived for 20 years.” He noted that today’s presentation by Tim Cortes would be about hydrogen and how important the opportunity with hydrogen is both for our current customers and for enabling Plug Power to grow in more areas.
Today’s announcement was that Dietz & Watson, Inc. is a new Plug Power GenKey customer. Dietz & Watson will deploy GenDrive fuel cells in its entire fleet of class-2 and class-3 lift trucks for its new warehouse building under a full GenKey agreement. You can read the announcement here: click to read. Dietz & Watson is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of premium deli meats, artisan cheeses, and related products in North America. Andy noted that having Dietz & Watson as a new customer brought back memories from his childhood of lunches featuring D&W meats in his sandwiches.
Like at the other Plug POWERTrip stops, Andy provided an overview of Plug Power’s 2015 goals and objectives. He went on to talk a bit about why a few of our specific customers use Plug Power products in their facilities. The over-arching theme was that our products save them money, make them more productive and help them meet sustainability goals. Andy has spoken a lot about Plug Power’s relationship with Walmart. Today, he also spoke about why customers Kroger, P&G and BMW have chosen Plug Power solutions. Andy noted that BMW has made a two-part video about their use of Plug Power fuel cells, which can be seen here:
We’ve made it clear: hydrogen is critical to continued growth for Plug Power and the fuel cell industry as a whole. Tim Cortes, Plug Power’s Vice President of Hydrogen Energy Systems, expanded on this tenant with a discussion of the long-term importance of hydrogen and the steps Plug Power is taking to grow and expand our business.
Tim discussed three areas: why hydrogen matters, what Plug Power has done to date, and our strategy for the near term. He went on to outline a few specific use-cases for hydrogen in markets and applications adjacent to material handling, in retail and small customer sites, in new markets and new geographies and in large distribution centers.
Tim concluded, saying that hydrogen is definitely the critical enabler. Plug Power wants to make hydrogen readily available to customers in the same way gasoline is today.
Following the presentations from Andy and Tim, the floor was opened for a robust Q&A session. Just like at the other Plug POWERTrip stops, we were not disappointed by the intelligent questions and comments from our investors and analysts. We had questions on a wide variety of topics: How dependent the 3-5 year goal of $500 million is on success internationally (only about $80M of that $500M is targeted to international sales); How codes and standards will impact market growth (standards are just starting to develop for fuel cells in material handling, but we’re involved); and our estimate for the first installation at a retail store (probably Q2-Q3 for trials).
We also got questions about how we decided to focus on the material handling business, what the target share price is for our stock once we reach the goal of $500M in revenue, what we’re doing with trolleys, streetcars and ports, and why, given our compelling story, so many people are betting against Plug Power. For detailed answers to those questions and many others, you’ll have to listen to the webcast replay.
If you were not able to join us in Dallas, you can listen to the webcast replay here: http://www.plugpowertrip.com. This location also has the replays of the Latham, New York and San Francisco stops on our tour, where you can hear in depth discussions of our gross margin strategy, overall corporate strategy and new market development strategy.
Next, we’ll be heading to the capital of the Midwest, Chicago, IL to meet with investors on Tuesday, June 2nd. We look forward to seeing you there!