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June 18, 2003

CANADA: Mystery “major automotive customer” deal boosts Ballard shares – report

Ballard Power Systems shares rose nearly 5% on Tuesday after announcing it received an order to supply its fuel-cell products to "a new major automotive customer," Reuters reported. Ballard shares were up 4.91%, or 92 Canadian cents, to $C19.66 on volume of 105,994 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock has moved in a yearly range of $31.60 to $10.55, the news agency noted.

By bcusack

Ballard Power Systems shares rose nearly 5% on Tuesday after announcing it received an order to supply its fuel-cell products to “a new major automotive customer,” Reuters reported.

Ballard shares were up 4.91%, or 92 Canadian cents, to $C19.66 on volume of 105,994 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock has moved in a yearly range of $31.60 to $10.55, the news agency noted.

Reuters said the Vancouver-based company, known for its alternative fuel systems with customers such as Ford, did not name the new customer for the $1.75 million order.

“The most important thing there is that at least people are trying the product than, really, who it is,” First Albany Corp. New York analyst Sanjay Shrestha told Reuters. “They’re at least willing to entertain what this whole technology might have to offer. Everybody wants to take a look inside that black box and figure out what it’s all about.

“At the end of the day, are they really going to be building it in-house or are they going to outsource it to Ballard? It’s yet to be seen…but at the early stage of the industry, everybody’s going to be looking at things like that.”

According to Reuters, Shrestha said Ballard had mentioned Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors as a new customer but said the new client could be any one of several European automotive names, such as Volvo.

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