March 11, 2014 / 1:26 AM / 6 years ago

FuelCell Energy first quarter revenue surges as demand grows, shares rise

(Reuters) - FuelCell Energy Inc (FCEL.O), a United States developer of next-generation fuel cell power plants, said on Monday that revenue jumped and losses narrowed in the first quarter amid growing demand for multi-megawatt fuel cell parks.

The company said revenue rose 22 percent to $44.4 million, above the average analyst estimate of $43.4 million according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Shares in Danbury, Connecticut-based FuelCell rose 8 percent to $4.24 in after-hours trading.

Net loss attributable to common FuelCell shareholders narrowed to $11.4 million, or 6 cents per share, from $12.5 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, FuelCell earned 4 cents per share, in line with what analysts had expected.

Inquiries and activity levels globally remain high, chief executive Chip Bottone said in a statement, adding that FuelCell was on track to close orders worth multiple megawatts of power capacity.

Power facilities running on fuel cells are more expensive to install than plants running on traditional fossil fuels. But they produce electricity electrochemically, offering an efficient, pollution-free alternative to combustion-based power generation.

U.S.-listed fuel cell makers, already on a tear in recent months, have surged in value since Plug Power Inc (PLUG.O) announced a contract last week to supply Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N). Investors are convinced that similar deals will follow as companies opt for cleaner technology.

FuelCell shares closed at $3.93 on Nasdaq on Monday. They have nearly tripled in value so far this year.

Reporting by Sneha Banerjee and Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Richard Chang and Kenneth Maxwell

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