Contrasting Plug Power (PLUG) and Ideal Power (IPWR)

Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG) and Ideal Power (NASDAQ:IPWR) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends and profitability.

Valuation and Earnings

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This table compares Plug Power and Ideal Power’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Plug Power $103.26 million 4.36 -$127.08 million ($0.60) -3.28
Ideal Power $1.21 million 15.97 -$10.43 million ($0.78) -1.77

Ideal Power has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Plug Power. Plug Power is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ideal Power, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Plug Power and Ideal Power’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Plug Power -96.94% -93.76% -30.37%
Ideal Power -852.02% -71.09% -62.90%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

26.6% of Plug Power shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 12.5% of Ideal Power shares are held by institutional investors. 5.1% of Plug Power shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.0% of Ideal Power shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Plug Power has a beta of 1.49, indicating that its share price is 49% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ideal Power has a beta of 1.11, indicating that its share price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Plug Power and Ideal Power, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Plug Power 1 0 7 0 2.75
Ideal Power 0 2 2 0 2.50

Plug Power currently has a consensus price target of $3.60, indicating a potential upside of 82.74%. Ideal Power has a consensus price target of $3.38, indicating a potential upside of 144.57%. Given Ideal Power’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Ideal Power is more favorable than Plug Power.

Summary

Plug Power beats Ideal Power on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Plug Power Company Profile

Plug Power Inc., an alternative energy technology provider, engages in the design, development, commercialization, and manufacture of hydrogen and fuel cell systems for the material handling and stationary power markets primarily in North America and Europe. It focuses on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell and fuel processing technologies, fuel cell/battery hybrid technologies, and related hydrogen storage and dispensing infrastructure. The company offers GenDrive, a hydrogen fueled PEM fuel cell system that provides power to material handling electric vehicles; GenFuel, a hydrogen fueling delivery, generation, storage, and dispensing systems; GenCare, which is an ongoing maintenance program for GenDrive fuel cells, GenSure products, GenFuel products, and ProGen engines; and GenSure, a stationary fuel cell solution that provides scalable modular PEM fuel cell power to support the backup and grid-support power requirements of the telecommunications, transportation, and utility sectors. It also provides GenKey, a turn-key solution for transitioning to fuel cell power; ProGen, a fuel cell stack and engine technology that is used in mobility and stationary fuel cell systems, and as engines in electric delivery vans; and GenFund, which offers financing solutions to customers. The company offers its products to distribution and manufacturing businesses, and government agencies through direct product sales force, original equipment manufacturers, and dealer networks. Plug Power Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Latham, New York.

Ideal Power Company Profile

Ideal Power Inc. develops power conversion solutions with a focus on commercial and industrial grid storage, combined solar and storage, and microgrid applications. The company offers 30kW battery converters for the commercial and industrial grid-tied distributed energy storage market; 30kW grid-resilient alternating current (AC) – direct current (DC) power conversion system (PCS) with two-ports, as well as 30kW grid-resilient AC-DC-DC multi-port model; and 125kW grid-resilient AC-DC PCS. It also focuses on licensing its proprietary power conversion Power Packet Switching Architecture to original equipment manufacturers. The company sells its products primarily to systems integrators directly, as well as through distribution channel partners in the United States. The company was formerly known as Ideal Power Converters Inc. and changed its name to Ideal Power Inc. in July 2013. Ideal Power Inc. was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

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