Shares in alkaline fuel cell specialist AFC Energy (LSE: AFC) have risen by as much as 8% today despite there being no significant news released by the company. Investor sentiment seems to be the reason for the share price gain, with it improving since the start of the month resulting in AFC’s share price being up 18% since that time.

An exciting year ahead

The release of the company’s full-year results could be the reason for this upturn in fortune for AFC’s share price. Although there appears to have been some profit taking immediately following the release, AFC’s results showed that the company continues to make encouraging progress. For example, last year it successfully tested multiple fuel cell stacks and completed milestone 10 of its POWER-UP programme. Furthermore, AFC has also signed heads of agreements with manufacturers and recently raised £3.6m through an oversubscribed placing.

Looking ahead, AFC is focused on the delivery of international contracts for the deployment of its fuel cell system and also on enhancing the operability of its fuel cell system. As such, 2016 could be another exciting year for the company and with cleaner fuels likely to become a more important part of the energy mix, AFC could be a worthwhile buy for less risk averse investors.

Better options elsewhere

Also rising today were shares in oil and gas engineering services business Plexus (LSE: POS) — they increased by 11%. Although there has been no significant news released by the company, its shares have soared by 26% in the last week alone. The latest piece of news released by the company was its interim results at the end of March where it outlined a plan to suspend dividend payments given the sharp reduction in exploration activity across the oil and gas sector.

While this may not be popular with many investors in the short run, the decision to suspend dividends seems to be a sensible one. That’s because it will help to shore up the financial standing of the business and could lead to a stronger company in the long run.

Looking ahead, Plexus is forecast to move into the red in the current year and to remain so in the following year. While it has the potential to turn its fortunes around, there appear to be better options available elsewhere in the oil and gas sector. Therefore, despite its recent share price run, Plexus does not seem to offer a sufficiently appealing risk/reward ratio to merit investment right now.7

On track to deliver

Meanwhile, shares in Iofina (LSE: IOF) were also among the major movers today, with them closing up a whopping 50%. This seems to be a carryover of yesterday’s performance when Iofina also rose significantly following the release of its first quarter update. It showed that the iodine explorer and producer remains on track to deliver its production guidance for the first-half of the year, with costs encouragingly being lower.

Looking ahead, Iofina’s dramatic share price rise could continue in the short run, although such a significant rise could also trigger a degree of profit taking. With Iofina forecast to move into profitability in the next financial year, investor sentiment could improve, although it remains a small and relatively high risk purchase at the present time.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of AFC Energy. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.