After Two Decades, a Fuel Cell Maker Posts First Positive Ebitda

(Bloomberg) -- For the first time in more than 20 years, fuel cell maker Plug Power Inc. posted positive adjusted earnings. Shares jumped to the highest level in almost four months.

Calling the fourth quarter of 2018 a “breakthrough,” Plug Power reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $500,000, up from a loss of $7.6 million a year earlier. Plug gained as much as 9 percent to $1.98 a share.

The earnings marked one bright spot for a technology that has failed to take off in any mainstream way as electric cars have outshone hydrogen vehicles in the push to cut emissions from the transportation sector. Plug Power, which makes fuel cells for forklifts and other vehicles, remains unprofitable by generally accepted accounting principles and recorded an adjusted loss of 7 cents a share, falling below analysts’ expectations of a 5-cent loss.

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