The 7 Best Hydrogen Stocks to Buy for February 2023

Stocks to buy

In many ways, the case for the best hydrogen stocks to buy practically sells itself. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “…clean hydrogen is currently enjoying unprecedented political and business momentum, with the number of policies and projects around the world expanding rapidly.” That was back in June 2019. Today, the circumstances favor the alternative energy source even more.

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, shocked global leaders pivoted quickly toward alternative energy infrastructures. Essentially, the free world learned a harsh lesson: nations can’t rely on belligerent actors for their critical resources. Moving forward, then, research and development toward alternative power solutions will rise, benefitting the best hydrogen stocks to buy.

SHEL Shell $57.85
LIN Linde $322.86
APD Air Products & Chemicals $283.03
PLUG Plug Power $16.48
BE Bloom Energy $24.13
ITMPF ITM Power $1.35
AFGYF AFC Energy $0.35

Shell (SHEL)

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Representing one of the world’s biggest hydrocarbon industry players, Shell (NYSE:SHEL) might seem an odd entry for one of the best hydrogen stocks to buy. However, management appears to realize the inevitable trend toward hydrogen. Last year, Shell made headlines when it announced plans to build Europe’s largest renewable energy hydrogen plant.

For investors trickling into the alternative energy space, SHEL makes for a solid case for the best hydrogen stocks to buy. Aside from the coronavirus-impacted years, Shell has revenue predictability. Further, the company enjoys a decent balance sheet. On the bottom line, Shell’s net margin stands at nearly 12%, beating out almost 64% of the competition.

Better yet, Wall Street analysts support the upside narrative of SHEL stock. Currently, they peg shares as a consensus moderate buy. In addition, their average price target stands at $67.81, implying an upside potential of over 16%.

Linde (LIN)

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A multinational chemical company founded in Germany, Linde (NYSE:LIN) is one of the world’s largest industrial gas companies by market share and revenue, per its corporate profile. In addition, Linde is the only company to cover every step in the hydrogen value chain from production and processing through distribution and storage to everyday industrial and consumer applications.

Financially, Linde provides investors seeking the best hydrogen stocks to buy plenty of positive attributes. On the balance sheet, it features an Altman Z-Score of 3.78, reflecting low bankruptcy risk over the next two years. Operationally, the company posts three-year revenue growth of 9.9%, beating out 63.5% of the competition. On the bottom line, its net margin of 11.4% outpaces over 70% of its peers.

As of this writing, Wall Street analysts peg LIN stock as a consensus moderate buy. Further, their average price target stands at $366.44, implying an upside potential of over 13%. Even better, sentiment among hedge funds rates as very positive.

Air Products & Chemicals (APD)

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Based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) focuses on its principal business, which involves selling gases and chemicals for industrial uses. Notably, under the context of the best hydrogen stocks to buy, APD represents the world’s leading hydrogen supplier. Per its website, it owns and operates over 100 hydrogen plants producing more than seven million kilograms (three billion standard cubic feet) per day of hydrogen.

As with Shell above, Air Products enjoys quite a few positive attributes. For starters, the company’s Altman Z-Score hits 4.93, indicating very low bankruptcy risk in the next two years. Operationally, Air Products’ three-year revenue growth rate stands at 12.3%, beating out nearly 71% of its peers. Also, on the bottom line, its net margin pings at 17.8%. This stat ranks above nearly 87% of industry players.

Presently, Wall Street analysts peg APD as a consensus moderate buy. Moreover, their average price target stands at $327.73, implying an upside potential of nearly 15%. Adding to the encouraging tone, hedge funds also support APD, rating it very positively.

Plug Power (PLUG)

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Standing among the decidedly speculative portion of the best hydrogen stocks to buy, Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) may still be appealing to investors that want to go “all in.” Focused on the development of hydrogen fuel systems that replace conventional batteries, Plug represents an aspirational enterprise. This year, investors appear to be loving it, with PLUG stock gaining nearly 43% of equity value.

To be fair, though, prospective buyers must be willing to overlook many fiscal vulnerabilities. About the one positive that distinguishes itself is the balance sheet. With an Altman Z-Score of 3.49, Plug rates in the safe zone. However, its three-year revenue growth rate of 4.2% pings just above middling for the industry. Also, for the moment, Plug Power is a deeply unprofitable company.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t seem to bother Wall Street analysts. Currently, PLUG enjoys a consensus moderate buy rating. Furthermore, their average price target hit $26.67, implying an upside potential of 53.45%. Finally, hedge fund sentiment for PLUG rates as very positive, making it one of the best hydrogen stocks to buy for gamblers.

Bloom Energy (BE)

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Headquartered in San Jose, California, Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) manufactures and markets solid oxide fuel cells that produce electricity on-site. Per its public profile, Bloom’s fuel cells are subsidized by government incentive programs for green energy. Moreover, BE happens to be a monster performer in the charts. In the trailing year, shares soared over 73%.

However, as with Plug Power, prospective investors must realize that Bloom carries an aspirational profile. For instance, Bloom’s balance sheet is poor. In particular, its Altman Z-Score slipped 0.34 below parity, indicating a distressed enterprise. Also, its profit margins (aside from gross margins) presently sit in negative territory. Still, one positive is that Bloom’s three-year book growth rate stands at a robust 42.2%.

Despite the challenges, they don’t deter Wall Street analysts, who peg BE stock as a consensus strong buy. Moreover, their average price target pings at $30.38, indicating an upside potential of 23%. For further confirmation, sentiment among hedge funds rates as very positive.

ITM Power (ITMPF)

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Moving into the over-the-counter segment of the best hydrogen stocks to buy, ITM Power (OTCMKTS:ITMPF) is an energy storage and clean fuel company founded in the U.K. in 2001. According to its corporate profile, ITM designs manufactures, and integrates electrolyzers based on proton exchange membrane technology to produce green hydrogen using renewable electricity and tap water.

Undeniably, ITM represents a scientific juggernaut. However, we’ve got to look at this investment honestly – the financials could use some work. Sure, ITM enjoys a strong war chest, given its cash-to-debt ratio of 45.22 times. As well, the company’s Altman Z-Score pings at over 7, reflecting low bankruptcy risk.

However, Gurufocus.com clearly warns that ITM represents a possible value trap. Given its negative revenue and earnings trend, it’s hard to ignore the warning signs. Plus, in the trailing year, ITMPF tumbled over 61%. That said, over the past few months, shares have stabilized. If you have some loose change lying around, ITM could be interesting.

AFC Energy (AFGYF)

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For those that want to swing for the fences with their best hydrogen stocks to buy, then AFC Energy (OTCMKTS:AFGYF) could fit the bill. Also based in the U.K., AFC is a developer of alkaline fuel cells which use hydrogen for electricity production. Although shares incurred a rough time in 2022, in the new year, they’re up nearly 15%.

Will that be enough to convince you to acquire AFGYF? Frankly, those seeking the best hydrogen stocks to buy for the long haul should consider the top five names first. Still, AFC could intrigue gamblers. Despite horrible operational figures, the company enjoys decent stability in the balance sheet. For instance, its cash-to-debt ratio stands at 64.26 times, outpacing over 86% of the industry.

Still, it’s a terribly risky bet. For instance, the market prices AFC at an astronomical 230-times trailing sales. As you might imagine, the enterprise rates as deeply unprofitable. It’s an aspirational trade, through and through. Nevertheless, priced at 29 cents a pop, AFC will likely attract speculative interest.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.

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