Investors who owned stocks in the last 13 years have generally experienced some big gains. In fact, the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) total return since Nov. 4, 2008 is 345.9%.
On that day in history, Barack Obama was elected the 44th U.S. president.
Plug’s Difficult Decade: The Democratic platform is generally much more favorable toward clean energy stocks than the Republican platform, but one market laggard since Obama’s 2008 victory has been hydrogen and fuel cell systems leader Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ: PLUG). Plug investors are hoping the stock is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the rise in electric vehicles.
The biggest news for Plug during the Obama administration was a 2014 partnership deal with Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT). Plug agreed to supply GenDrive fuel cells for Walmart’s forklift fleets. The partnership news initially sent Plug shares soaring. However, the rally quickly fizzled after it became clear Walmart alone wouldn’t be enough to push Plug’s net earnings, operating earnings and cash flow into positive territory.
Plug also announced a major deal with Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) under Republican Donald Trump in 2017. A deal to supply forklift Fuel cells to Amazon essentially doubled Plug’s revenue, but it still wasn’t enough for Plug to consistently turn a profit.
On the day Obama was elected back in 2008, Plug shares were trading at around $10.70.
Prior to the Walmart deal in early 2013, Plug shares had dropped to their lowest point of the decade, falling as low as 11.5 cents. Over the next year or so, the Walmart deal would drive nearly a 1,000% gain in the stock, which reached $11.72 on the Walmart news.
Unfortunately, that level would mark the high point of the 2010s for Plug. By early 2017, Plug shares dropped back below $1. The 2017 Amazon deal only got the stock as high as $3.21 before it once again drifted down to the $1 level by the beginning of 2019.
2020 And Beyond: Plug made it as high as $6.05 in early 2020 before the COVID-19 market sell-off hit the stock, taking it back below $4.
However, investor optimism surrounding alternative energy stocks have soared in the months leading up to Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, and Plug shares have soared to new highs above $20 heading into the end of the year.
Plug may not have been the Obama-era home run investors had hoped, but $1,000 invested in Plug stock on the day Obama was elected would be worth about $1,829 today.
Looking ahead, analysts are expecting Plug to cool off significantly in the next 12 months. The average price target among the 10 analysts covering the stock is $14, suggesting 29.8% downside from current levels.
© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.