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December 11th, 2007
Nanotechnology is still a business of the future. Although great strides have been made in creating the technology of the ultra small, very few commercial products have yet made any money for their developers. Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALTI) is a case in point. The Reno, Nev.-based company has so far delivered just 14 products — lithium ion batteries for electric cars — and those cars have yet to hit the market.
But the company has several development contracts and joint ventures with big corporations in the works, including paint maker Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE: SHW) and drug makers Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPPI). If those ventures play out successfully, its tiny particles could prove to have a very big future.
From a peak of nearly $8 per share in 2000, the stock dropped to penny stock territory by mid-2003. It has steadily recovered since then, closing at $4.43 on Monday, with a market cap of $312 million, and is now flirting with the low end of analysts' targets. Three brokers polled by Thomson/First Call have price targets ranging from $5 to $6. Its 52-week high is $5.45, reached in October, and the low was $2.48, reached in January.
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