Blink Charging the second-largest EV charging infrastructure operator while Bloom Energy is a sustainable micro-grid manufacturer. With the election of Joe Biden, both companies are poised for growth as the new president aims to reverse climate change.
But which stock is a better buy, BLNK or BE?
Blink Charging was founded in 2009 with the vision to help our transition to sustainable transport. The Miami-headquartered company has deployed over 23000 charging stations since its inception and also operates a cloud-based system allowing drivers/customers to easily find stations and book charging slots. As of 2020, Blink has over 15000 charging stations. The company went public in 2018 and raised $18.25 million via an IPO. The company currently has a market cap of $592 million.
Bloom Energy is a California headquartered company that develops on-site fuel storage and electricity generation systems. The company was founded in 2001 and made its first public appearance in 2010. Bloom’s main product is a solid oxide fuel system that produces electricity on-site and on-demand by combining natural gas and air without combustion. The company went public via IPO in 2018 and raised $270 million. Bloom has a market cap of $3.12 billion.
Blink Charging develops its own charging system and deploys them via different ownership structures. All charging systems are connected to the Blink network. Blink offers four different ownership structures, namely, Host Owned, Hybrid Owned, Blink Owned, and Blink as a Service. Under Host Owned, the host covers all expenses and receives all revenues. Under Hybrid Owned, Blink pays all expenses except installation and gets a cut of the revenues. Under Blink Owned, Blink bears all costs and receives all revenues.
Under Blink as a Service, Blink pays for equipment and maintenance while the host pays for electricity and installation under a revenue share model. Blink has attracted lots of commercial host customers as a charging station makes the host location a point-of-interest for EV owners and gives the host a chance to sell other services to customers while they wait for their car to charge.
Bloom Energy’s flagship product is the Bloom Energy server, also known as a micro-grid. Bloom’s Energy Server combines warm air, steam, and natural gas for on-site and 24/7 on-demand energy generation. The company saw a surge in demand for its server from commercial customers such as Amazon, Google, etc. due to the booming cloud business.
Cloud and data-center operators have been willing to shell out big money over the past few years for on-site and 24/7 systems like Bloom’s to minimize server downtime which can cost them $9000/minute. However, Bloom has failed to realize its vision of putting a Bloom Energy server in consumer homes due to costs. Without subsidies, Bloom costs 13.5 cents/kWh, compared to grid prices of 10 cents/kWh. It should also be noted that Bloom’s system is not entirely green and produces CO2 as a by-product, but much less than traditional power plants.
In Q3, Blink reported revenue of $900000, up 18% YoY, and product sales grew 74% QoQ to $0.6 million. Total revenues for the first three quarters of the year were $3.8 million, up 84% YoY. The company reported an 87% increase in wholly-owned locations. Net loss for the quarter was $3.9 million and cash on hand is $14.9 million.
For Q3, Bloom reported $200 million in revenue and a net loss of $12 million. EBITDA for the quarter was $27.7 million and operating margin improved from 2.7% to 7.7% YoY. The company repaid $249 million worth of 10% promissory notes due 2021 and the outstanding $79 million on its 10% secured notes due 2024. The company refinanced at a much lower rate of 2.5% by selling $230 million convertible senior notes due 2025. With a cheaper debt and a growing operating margin, Bloom Energy is set to bloom.
While both companies are in burgeoning sectors, BLNK has a much better chance at creating shareholder wealth due to its asset-light model and high margin nature of the business, also, BE has yet to find any major mass-market success for its product.