May 4th brought a shock to investors who see hydrogen as a future issue. The fuel cell developer Ballard Power, celebrated on the stock exchange in 2020, published quarterly figures. That young companies write high losses: for free. But that they shrink, that’s not possible. Ballard’s sales dropped by around a quarter in the first quarter.
The share price slipped, as did numerous other young companies involved in hydrogen technology, such as Nel ASA and Fuelcell Energy. The losses since the beginning of the year have been well into double digits, and that in an overall rising market (as measured by the MSCI World industrialized country index). The hype is first of all out of breath.
In contrast, established companies such as Linde and Air Liquide, which are expanding their hydrogen business, made gains. The lesson: Instead of individual hype stocks, investors should buy a broadly diversified hydrogen fund or ETF such as the VanEck Vectors Hydrogen Economy ETF (ISIN: IE00BMDH1538).