Bolder Gets A Recharge

The stock of BOLDER Technologies (BOLD) was on the ropes in February: At 7 7/8, shares had fallen from a high of 17 a year earlier. Delays in production of its small but high-powered lead-acid battery disappointed investors. And adopting a poison pill to ward off raiders dismayed investors even more. But of late, the stock has risen--to 10 3/4 on May 26.

The reason: Analysts expect the company's battery will be in production before yearend, reaching 10,000 units a day by mid-1999. "It has taken longer than we expected," says Carl Stutts, general partner at Columbine Venture Fund, which owns 19% of the stock. But "we're very excited about BOLDER's patented thin-metal film technology," adds Stutts, who is a also member of BOLDER's board. CEO Dan Lankford confirms that production will start this year. "We're eyeing broader uses for our battery," he adds.

BOLDER GETS A RECHARGE

The viability of BOLDER's product is supported by car-battery giant Johnson Controls, which has acquired a 6% stake. Johnson Controls has a license from BOLDER to market its output in certain markets. BOLDER's battery has twice the punch of other rechargeable batteries but is only one-fifth as heavy. BOLDER batteries, which recharge in five minutes, are designed for jobs such as jump-starting a car.

Clinton Morrison of investment firm John G. Kinnard in Minneapolis figures the company will remain in the red through next year, when it's expected to post a loss of 35 cents a share on revenues of $12.1 million, vs. a loss of $1.10 this year on $2.3 million.

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