Battery-Maker Surges On Barclays Upgrade (AONE, HEV, HPJ, XIDE, BYDDF, BRK.A, TSLA, BRK.B)
Massachusetts-based lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems (AONE) soared by 11% on Monday after an upgrade to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. The analyst bumped the stock’s price target to $16 from $12, pinning its 2010 slide to “diminishing investor interest” in the battery sector and a lack of near-term catalysts, according to Barron’s Tech Trader. Elsewhere, analysts have been less optimistic on A123 of late with Needham and Wunderlich starting coverage at Hold, and Goldman initiating the stock at Neutral, all since mid-June.
As a whole, the Energy Storage and Battery Technology Stocks Index is ahead by 1.5% on the day with Ener1 (HEV), Hong Kong Highpower (HPJ), and Exide Technologies (XIDE) among top performers.
After debuting to much fanfare in September of 2009, A123 quickly surged to huge gains in its first week of trading, but it’s been a bumpy road for the stock ever since. The firm is a laggard in the 2009 IPOs Index over the last six months, losing more than -35% despite today’s spike.
Elsewhere in the battery segment, BYD Co (BYDDF), where Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) bought a 10%, Hong Kong-listed stake in 2008, has rebounded by 9% over the last week. The stock, which trades on the Pink Sheets in the U.S., ran up sharply in February and March, only to forfeit gains in a sharp second-quarter slide.
The late-June Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) IPO brought some fresh attention to the electric car segment, and investors will be watching for any forthcoming signs of meaningful penetration in the automotive segment. Given that years could pass before adequate infrastructure and consumer adoption could lead to EV proliferation, the battery segment is likely to remain somewhat volatile.
Investors can track the the Energy Storage and Battery Technology Stocks Index for performance trends and a suite of other metrics at tickerspy.com.
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