Ideal Power (IPWR) vs. Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) Head-To-Head Review

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

Risk and Volatility

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

Profitability

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

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Ideal Power and Plug Power, as provided by MarketBeat.

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

Ideal Power presently has a consensus target price of $3.38, indicating a potential upside of 181.25%. Plug Power has a consensus target price of $3.60, indicating a potential upside of 96.72%. Given Ideal Power’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Ideal Power is more favorable than Plug Power.

Valuation & Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ideal Power $1.21 million 13.88 -$10.43 million ($0.78) -1.54
Plug Power $103.26 million 4.05 -$127.08 million ($0.60) -3.05

Ideal Power has higher earnings, but lower revenue 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.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

12.5% of Ideal Power shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 26.4% of Plug Power shares are owned by institutional investors. 10.0% of Ideal Power shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.1% of Plug Power shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

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

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.

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.

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