Plug Power gets “techy” in the Windy City
June 2, 2015
The Plug POWERTrip – our six-city investor road show – spent the morning at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry with a group of our midwest investors. The choice of the Museum of Science and Industry as the location for this stop on the tour was an obvious one – the intersection of science with industry is what makes cool technology like fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure a reality in our daily lives. What a great place to talk about Plug Power’s goals and progress in global sales! Perhaps one day, there will even be a Plug Power exhibit in the museum.
CEO Andy Marsh kicked off his presentation with the announcement of an expansion contract with Walmart Canada to provide 124 GenDrive fuel cells for its new High Velocity Distribution Center building in Balzac, Alberta, Canada. This expansion adds on to the fleet that has been in operation since 2010 and brings the GenDrive total upwards of 230 units at the site. Walmart Canada will also receive a GenFuel infrastructure to support both the new high velocity distribution and the existing perishable distribution centers. Read the release here: http://www.ir.plugpower.com/news
The theme of Andy’s presentation today was “Why should investors care about Plug Power?” He spoke about the value proposition customers like Walmart and Kroger helped put together to explain how fuel cells help their facility operations run more productively and consistently. He spoke about the market size in North America and globally. He spoke about the development of products and fueling solutions that help business owners seamlessly adopt fuel cells into their operations. And the growth in the business from initial negative gross margins to ongoing positive gross margins.
Andy detailed the case study of SouthernLinc Wireless as an example of how new product and fueling solutions have meshed with changes within telecommunications equipment power levels to provide a business case that works for our stationary telecom customers in North America and globally.
He closed his presentation with a graphic showing why people should care about Plug Power, saying, “We work at Plug Power not just to be a $500 million dollar business, but to be much more.”
Jose Luis Crespo, Vice President of Global Sales, continued the discussion of customers and growth. Plug Power maintains its 2015 forecast of total sales in excess of $100 million, comprised of sales of more than 3,300 GenDrive units and construction of more than 15 GenFuel hydrogen infrastructures. Jose Luis discussed our plans to meet these targets, speaking about customers including Walmart and Kroger and BMW and about our plans for European expansion. He discussed our plans to leverage what we have done well in North America to the markets that have the best potential in Europe.
Jose Luis ended his presentation saying, “We will be a $500 million company because of the value we bring to our customers.”
Following management presentations, the floor was opened for a robust Q&A session and we were not disappointed by the intelligent questions and comments from our investors and analysts. Questions ranged from how Plug Power’s infrastructure is set to handle expansion to $500m (we’ve invested in the personnel and have the facility capable of getting there); to why U.S. automakers have not embraced fuel cells for their material handling needs (the macro-economic environment has been challenging for them in recent years, but that is changing); and whether we see “big oil” holding back the fuel cell market (not at this time).
We also had good questions on the topics of potential acquisitions Plug Power might be considering and whether we might envision someone making an offer for Plug Power that we can’t refuse; on the value of Plug Power stock this year and our thoughts on future possibilities; on the plans for reaching cash flow positive status and potential profit margins; on potential expansions into Asia; and on the possible leak of the name of the big box distribution customer we announced earlier in the Plug POWERTrip and when we might be able to talk more about that. For detailed answers to all of these and more, you’ll need to listen to the replay of the webcast.
If you were not able to join us in Chicago, you can listen to the webcast replay here: http://www.plugpowertrip.com. Please note that there is also a video tab on this link where you can view the Plug Power facility tour video as well as videos made by customers VW and BMW about why they have invested in fuel cells.
We’ll be wrapping up our tour in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 4th. We hope you can join us in the nation’s capital for a conversation about policy and its importance in the fuel cell industry.