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FuelCell Energy’s unceremonious CEO exit, restructuring spooks investors

The developments prompted Oppenheimer to downgrade the stock, while Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne slashed his price target to $1 from $2.75
A FuelCell facility
Danbury, Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy designs, installs, and operates fuel cell plants for power generation

FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) spooked investors this week by putting in motion a restructuring plan which pushed out longtime CEO Arthur Bottone.  

The company filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday tipping off investors about the sudden CEO exit.

FuelCell shares fell 10.6% to $0.57 in Friday morning trading.

READ: FuelCell’s $100M debt facility with Generate Lending a positive factor, Roth says

Bottone presided for eight years over the fluctuating fortunes of Danbury, Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy which designs, installs, and operates fuel cell power plants for power generation.

As part of the overhaul, FuelCell Energy has hired Huron Consulting Services to assist with restructuring and contingency plans.

Analysts sour on FuelCell 

According to TheFly.com, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch downgraded FuelCell Energy to Perform from Outperform without a price target.

The analyst wrote that there were too many imponderables with FuelCell entering into a major overhaul and Bottone being terminated. Oppenheimer said the company’s strategy "has become increasingly more difficult to predict."

Meanwhile, Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne also cut FuelCell stock to Market Perform and lowered his price target to $1 from $2.75.

According to an engagement letter, the FuelCell’s board has appointed Laura Marcero, a managing director at Huron, as chief restructuring officer of FuelCell and its subsidiaries.

For the three months ended January 31, the company posted a net loss of $0.33 per share on revenue of $17.8 million, compared with $38.6 million a year earlier. The average forecast of analysts was for a loss of $0.18 per share on revenue of $11.38 million.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

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FuelCell Energy Timeline

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