After a period of sustained share losses, Plug Power (PLUG) stock has been building up momentum once again. The past week has seen shares rise as the market appears to be warming to the hydrogen specialist once more.

One of the reasons for the uptick is due to the excitement surrounding PLUG’s third annual symposium, which will take place on Thursday (Oct 14).

While recent times have seen the stock picking up steam, B. Riley’s Christopher Souther thinks the event’s potential impact should not be underestimated.

Last month, with shares trading “meaningfully off intra-year highs,” and believing the stock to be “fundamentally strong and poised to outperform through the rest of 2021,” Southern picked PLUG for B. Riley's "Battered Bastion" group. “A main reason for the pick was our expectation that the symposium would act as a positive catalyst for near-term stock performance,” the analyst explained.

Given the strength in material handling and the additional opportunities opening up in adjacent markets which through the decade should result in “robust growth rates,” the analyst believes PLUG is “likely to increase its 2021 guidance and 2024 targets.”

This will be an additional raise to the one made with the 2Q earnings release, when the company increased its 2021 gross billings guidance to $500 million, suggesting a 50% uptick from 2020’s levels. Despite 2021 being an investment year, Southern believes the company is “ahead of schedule” on its 2021 gross billings target.

As for the $1.7 billion 2024 target, Souther thinks there is “likely still some conservatism” in the expectations from European and North American stationary applications and electrolyzer and hydrogen sales, while the biggest areas of upside potential are reserved for on-road mobility in the U.S. and large stationary power. Announcements regarding these will “best catalyze PLUG's stock price.”

Additionally, the company should also provide a more in-depth look into the recently announced JV with South Korea’s SK Group. The JV’s goal is to advance the use of hydrogen as an energy source in Asia.

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To this end, Souther sticks with a Buy rating, and $45 price target, suggesting room for 35% growth over the next 12 months. (To watch Souther’s track record, click here)

Looking at the consensus breakdown, based on 12 Buys vs. 4 Holds, PLUG stock boasts a Strong Buy consensus rating. The Street excepts the shares to be changing hands for a 36% premium a year from now, given the average price target currently stands at $40.40. (See PLUG stock forecast on TipRanks)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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