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A Website Called Plug Power A 'Casino Stock' As It Crashed 41% (PLUG, BLDP)

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Earlier today, we saw a huge surge in the share price of fuel cell-related companies, Plug Power most prominent among them, on an apparent run-up in revenues in the long-suffering space.

But just before 1 p.m., the rally collapsed in the blink of an eye. Plug Power closed down 41%.

One reason for the sell-off could be a report issued by Citron Research, an influential online stock commentary website.

In an unsigned note, the firm called PLUG a "casino stock" and suggested it would return to its one-time trading price of $0.50. They write:

A casino stock... is the lowest form of speculative moonshot. A casino stock can trade twice its outstanding shares in a single day, while turning over its entire float on people gambling that they can find a buyer at a higher price … Who really cares about anything else, right? The recent volume and share price surge in Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) demonstrates how Wall Street treats this stock: nothing more than a casino.

 Among the problems Citron says its found:

  • The company has consistently fallen short of its own quarterly forecasts.
  • There's an apparent lack of conviction among Plug's own management, who at one point refused to buy in on a capital round of just $0.15 a share.
  • Just one analyst covers the firm — and that same analyst is part of a company, Cowen and Co., that just issued an offering.
  • Plug Power owns practically none of their own technology, buying the actual fuel cells themselves from Ballard, which Citron endorses as a better way to enter the fuel cell space. 
  • Their principal customers have merely been taking advantage of an alternative fuels tax credit that expires in 2016. 

Citron concludes: "this business shows no signs of improvement, only the looming end of government subsidies. Does anyone ever really end up a winner at a casino???"

Plug Power was down 4% in after-hours trading, while Ballard was off 1%.

SEE ALSO: What Fuel Cells Have Going For Them

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UBS: Facebook Stock Is A 'Snowball' That Could Hit $112 (FB)

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UBS analyst Eric J. Sheridan and his team say Facebook's stock — currently trading around $70 — is like a "snowball" that could hit a staggering $112 in the future.

Facebook stock is already up 32% this year and has been trading in a frothy region above the average of analysts' price targets, according to Bloomberg. FB has rallied so quickly that analysts have struggled to upgrade their ever-higher price targets. Facebook stock at $70 has a price/earnings ratio of 114, compared with the average S&P 500 PE ratio of about 16.5, according to Factset. So we're entering the stratosphere of valuations here.

In a note to investors titled "The Snowball Picks Up Speed," UBS' Sheridan, Vishal Patel and Timothy Chiodo point to several factors they think will drive Facebook's stock into triple digits in the near future. (UBS actually has a $90 price target with an "upside scenario" of $112.)

Screen%20shot%202014 03 11%20at%203.31.41%20pmFirst, Sheridan says that Facebook has restricted the "reach" of posts on advertisers' Facebook pages so that just 6% of their followers see any given post. This "is acting as an impetus for greater ad spend as brand advertisers seek to maintain their audience." Facebook has previously denied that it restricts the reach of brands' pages on Facebook. Rather, it believes, the algorithm that controls which posts you see in your news feed is biased toward the posts that your friends also like and toward useful, newsy content.

Second, Facebook did a $100 million ad-buying deal with Publicis Omnicom Group, the giant ad agency holding company.

Third, Sheridan says that despite its reputation, Facebook still remains relatively ad-free:

We believe FB remains undermonetized relative to peers given the time spent on the platform, providing an opportunity for continued strong revenue growth as monetization improves. In particular, Facebook ads exhibit strong pricing power (+92% YoY in Q4) and ROIs remain excellent for FB’s advertising partners, suggesting significant runway for rising ad prices.

Sheridan also believes payment revenue from WhatsApp — users must pay $1 per year after their first year of usage — will help.

UBS has a downside scenario, too, of course. If the snowball melts, the stock would be worth only $55, Sheridan writes.

SEE ALSO: This is the agenda behind Mark Zuckerberg's secret dinner with terrified wireless execs in Barcelona

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35 Things You Can Do Right Away To Start Spending Less Money

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Tired of ending every month in the hole with no idea where your hard-earned money went? It may be time to re-evaluate your spending.

In a recent Reddit thread, users shared their best tips for quickly and easily spending less money. They range from practical food-buying tricks to reframing the way you think about your finances.

We pulled out some the best and highlighted them below.

1. Plan out and cook your own meals. Dining out often is a huge money drain. —MrTimSearle

2. Clean out your fridge and pantry. You'll find good food you didn't know you had. —InsaneRay

3. Buy in bulk the things you would normally buy. You'll get more for your buck. —cjs3

4. Opt for non-canned goods. Fresh produce and dried beans are typically cheaper and healthier than canned items. —BellabitchTheStrange

5. Try the grocery store brand. If you like the taste, stick with it, and you'll save money. —Colonel-Rosa

6. Stop buying microwave dinners. The mark-ups are crazy. You could make better, healthier meals for less. —yawrn

7. Don't buy more groceries than you actually need or can keep. Throwing away food is the same as throwing away money. —nowgetbacktowork

8. Use a slow cooker. Throw in some veggies, beans, and meat, and you'll have lunches and dinners for the whole week. —i-hear-banjos

9. Make your own coffee. Those $2 to $4 coffees add up. —StickleyMan

10. Bring your lunch to work. You'll cut your lunch tab in half or more by making it yourself. —ILikeLampz

11. Stop buying bottled water. Use a glass or refill a bottle with tap water for free. —Cam_Harris

12. Don't go out to drink. Drinks with dinner can add $10 or more a person, and a night at the bar can easily cost $40. —typographicalerr

13. Track your expenses for a month. Using a tool like Mint.com or simply keeping a running log will help you see how much of your income is spent frivolously. —elderbio

14. Set goals. If you have a plan to stock money away in an emergency fund, for example, you'll think twice about spending on superfluous things. Newmoney4me

15. Buy quality items. If you skimp on the important things, you may spend more in the long run. For instance, spending $30 on shoes every six months costs more than spending $60 on a pair that lasts years. —tahlyn

16. Think of your spending in hours instead of dollars. If you make $10 an hour, then that $2 cup of coffee is 12 minutes of your life. You may decide it's not worth it. —Koketa13

17. Before you buy something, ask yourself: What impact is this purchase going to have on my life? That can put an end to impulse spending. —_yertle_the_turtle 

18. Change how often you spend on indulgences. Rather than give them up entirely, limit the frequency. For example, if you go to Starbucks daily, try going weekly, and if you go the movies weekly, try once a month. —stringliterals

19. Put half of your paycheck into savings. It forces you to figure out how to live on less. —ntran2

20. Always pay off your credit card at the end of every month. You avoid paying interest and get in the habit of living within your means. —nova_cat

21. Set up auto transfers on your bills so you're never late. Late fees are a waste. —nowgetbacktowork

22. Get checking account alerts on your phone or opt out of overdraft protection. Otherwise, you'll pay steep fees for overdrafting your account. nowgetbacktowork

23. Spend your money where you spend your time, and cut the rest. If you're a runner, you need good shoes, and if you spend a lot of time in the car, you should invest there. This kind of thinking helps you trim the superficial stuff that does not add value to your life. —GreyFoxNinjaFan

24. Wait at least two days before buying anything over $50. You may no longer want it or forget it altogether. —Newmoney4me

25. Trade cable for Netflix. You'll have access to more TV shows and movies than you can watch for just $7.99 a month. If you like to watch sports, go to the bar or a friend's house. Newmoney4me

26. Ask your Internet provider if it has any promotional rates. You could see your rate drop by as much as $20. —Aerospacing_Out

27. Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions you don't read. Many people will let them stack up instead of picking up the phone to cancel. —mrhoopers

28. Compare rates of local electric companies. You may no longer be getting the best deal available. Aerospacing_Out

29. Wear a sweater in the house, and turn down the heat a couple of degrees. Over time, you'll save on electricity. —MrTimSearle

30. Rethink your cell phone plan. Are you paying for more than you use? Switching to Straight Talk or a similar plan could significantly drop your bill. Aerospacing_Out

31. Get car insurance quotes. Companies competing for your business may quote you a lower rate. Aerospacing_Out

32. Look into refinancing your car or home. You could see your payment immediately drop. Aerospacing_Out

33. Frequent the library. Get books, movies, and music for free. —AnnabellBeaverhausen

34. Buy your clothes from the thrift store. Chances are, no one will be able to tell the difference. —Newmoney4me

35. Ride your bike to work. Not only will you save on car or public transportation costs, you'll be healthier. —Colonel-Rosa 

SEE ALSO: Why This Guy Quit His 6-Figure Job And Gave Away Most Of His Possessions

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