Ballard shares surge on U.S. energy plan
By RICHARD BLOOM 16:40 GMT-04:00 Thursday, May 17, 2001
Shares of Vancouver-based fuel-cell maker Ballard Power Systems Inc. soared
more than 16 per cent Thursday in the wake of the highly anticipated U.S.
"There are a bunch of recommendations or initiatives that they're proposing
that would be favourable for fuel-cell companies in general and Ballard by
extension," said Marko Pencak, an analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston in
President George W. Bush laid out a plan of attack Thursday against "the
most serious energy shortage" since the 1970s, calling for heavier reliance
on oil, coal and nuclear power, and $10-billion (U.S.) in tax credits for
The plan proposes tax credits for energy conservation and renewable energy
totaling $10-billion over 10 years, including $4-billion for "hybrid"
vehicles that run on gas and electricity. Other credits would go to
companies that use new energy technology.
Mr. Bush unveiled the report on national energy policy, developed by a task
force led by Vice President Dick Cheney, during a speech to local business
leaders in St. Paul, Minnesota, after visiting a power plant in the area.
Mr. Pencak said his investment house currently has "buy" recommendation on
By the close of trading, the company's stock was up $12.80 or 16.91 per cent
to $88.50 (Canadian) on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
"[The new energy plan] highlighted the need for alternative energies and it
highlighted the need for companies who are bringing products to the market
in this area and Ballard is one of those companies that are bringing their
product to this market by 2002 or 2003," commented another analyst.
"They will be one of the main companies who will benefit from this, they are
the most advanced in terms of fuel-cell product development and probably the
only company that is capable of bringing a product to market over the next
two years," the analyst added.
Ballard's stock is sitting near the low-end of its 52-week range. The
company's Toronto-listed stock has a 52-week low of $51.26 and a year-long
top of $179.75.
Separately, the company's annual general meeting was slated for Thursday.
On April 30, Ballard reported a net loss of $22.4-million or 25 cents per
share, up from the net loss of $14.7-million or 17 cents per share, in the
same period last year.
Consensus earning expectations for the company, however, were 27 cents per
share, according First Call/Thomson Financial.
During its last quarterly report, it said it expects a portable generator
product it is developing with Coleman Powermate to be introduced
commercially by the end of the year.
With a report from Reuters
TAX CREDITS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY war das "Zauberwort".