Finding Diamonds in the Rough

It seems to me that there’s a push right now to improve battery technology. In my mind, the electric vehicle is the ultimate hybrid.

Last year, I wrote in this column about an attractive battery producer in China. This company, called Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ/ABAT), graduated to the NASDAQ from the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board.

This small company manufactures and distributes rechargeable Polymer Lithium-Ion (PLI) batteries for electric automobiles, motorcycles, mine-use lamps, notebook computers, walkie-talkies and other electronic devices. Advanced Battery has a New York office, but maintains its executive offices and manufacturing facilities in China.

Still small and at an early stage of development, this company is signing up new customers in China and getting increasingly larger contracts for its products.

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For its first quarter ended March 31, 2008, Advanced Battery’s revenues grew to a record ten million dollars, up 87% from revenues of $5.36 million generated in the comparable quarter.

Net income for the period was $3.85 million, as compared to pre-tax income of $1.34 million.

Advanced Battery just signed a $5.0-million contract with a distributor called Quanzhou Hongtian Science & Technology Development Co., Ltd. in China. This distributor will resell the company’s rechargeable battery cells for use in electric vehicles, mining equipment, and other consumer electronics.

Advanced Battery is still small and relatively unknown in the investing marketplace. This is likely to change soon, as the company was just selected to be included in the Russell 3000 Index.

I love finding small, innovative companies like this that are under the radar of most investors. Often, these kinds of stocks are undervalued in the marketplace, but if the company proves itself a financial success, you can bet that its stock price will also be a success soon thereafter.