A Real Charge From Medis Technologies
Medis Technologies (MDTL ) may have a big winner: a disposable, portable Power Pack to recharge cell phones, video games, iPods, and the like. Users won't have to look for electrical plugs to charge up their gadgets, says Medis CEO Robert Lifton. Medis is in talks with big mobile-phone outfits that are trying out the Power Pack, he says. General Dynamics (GD ) has successfully tested it for its Itronix' tablet GoBook, says Lifton, and has shown interest in emergency recharging for its wireless and military phones. Power Pack production will start in the first quarter of 2006 at Medis' Israeli plant, with a capacity of 20,000 units a month. By 2007, full production will begin in Switzerland -- for 1.5 million units a month. Medis has signed up Celestica and Ismeca Europe Automation to run the assembly line. The units will then cost $4.50 apiece to make and will be sold to vendors like phone companies for about $7.50, Lifton adds. The Power Pack can charge up to 20 hours of "talk time," and when the gadget is off, the power lasts up to eight weeks. Medis has inked a $57 million order from ASE International, a distributor to drugstores and other retailers. Otis Bradly of Gilford Securities rates Medis -- up from 12 a share in May to 17 now -- a buy. It will be in the red until 2007, when he expects it to earn $1.43 a share. Among big holders: John Hancock Advisers, Citigroup (C ), and Goldman Sachs (GS ).
Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.
By Gene G. Marcial