A renewable-energy company and a mobile-phone service provider shared the honor of being the most-traded penny stocks at the close of the market on Jan. 17, 2014.
Each was riding a tide of positive news.
At the end of the trading day Friday, 29.9 million shares of renewable-energy company FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) changed hands, dwarfing its 3-month average volume of 5.2 million shares.
This most likely comes as a direct result of the Danbury-Conn. fuel-cell maker’s public offering Friday of 22 million shares of its common stock at a price of $1.25 a share. The net proceeds from the sale of the shares, after deducting the underwriters’ discounts and other expenses are estimated to be $26 million. FuelCell has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 3.3 million shares of common stock offered in the public offering to cover over-allotments, if any, which would result in additional gross proceeds of about $4.1 million if exercised in full.
FuelCell said it plans to use the infusion of 26 million for project development, project finance, working capital support and general corporate purposes. The offering is expected to close on or about Jan. 23, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Stifel is acting as the sole book-running manager for the offering. Cowen and Co. is acting as the co-lead manager, and FBR Capital Markets & Co. is acting as co-manager for the offering. Ardour Capital Investments LLC is acting as selling group member for the offering.
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Completion of Dominion Deal
FuelCell’s public offering comes only a few weeks after it announced the completion of its 14.9 megawatt fuel-cell park on schedule for Dominion. The project is located on a remediated brownfield site in an industrial area of Bridgeport, Conn., using only about 1.5 acres of land to provide the renewable power.
Renewable energy slow to yield profits
While both these events are positive news for FuelCell, the elephant in the room that’s being ignored in their releases is the fact that renewable energy companies have barely broke even, never mind turn significant profits. The fuel-cell industry’s total gross sales in 2012 were $120.6 million, while its costs were 120.2 million, according to the Dept. of Energy.
On Jan. 17, FCEL share price closed at $1.40, down 24 cents under its closing price of $1.64 the previous day.
IPhone Deal Sparks Volume
Meanwhile, NII Holdings Inc.(NASDAQ: NHID), a mobile-service provider with a Latin-American customer base, saw the volume and share price of its stock soar after announcing Jan. 17 that it had cut a deal to distribute the iPhone 5c through Nextel in Brazil. Distribution of the iPhone is to kick off Jan. 31.
On Jan. 17, the Reston, Va. company’s stock volume reached new heights, with 27.8 million shares changing hands. NHID’s share price closed at $2.98, 58 cents over its previous closing share price of $2.40.
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