Hoku Scientific Shares Surge 31 Percent

September 15, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Fuel cell developer Hoku Scientific Inc. (Honolulu, HI) reported that its shares surged 31 percent, after two brokerages initiated coverage of the stock with an "outperform" or "buy" rating. Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel set a $9 price target, and forecast per-share earnings of $0.05 in 2005 and $0.10 in 2006. Pichel also noted that record-high energy prices may turn government and market sights on fuel cells and other untraditional energy options. He predicts Hoku's market potential at $150 million in 2005, growing to $2.6 billion by 2012. Thomas Weisel Partners also began coverage, but the brokerage only discloses reports to clients.

Shares of Hoku climbed $1.92 in earlier trading, or 31.4 percent, to set a new high of $8.04 on the Nasdaq. In the six weeks since its debut at $6.01 on August 5, 2005, Hoku's shares have bounced between $5.35 and a previous high of $7.30. As a result of its initial public offering, the company has $23 million in cash and no debt. The company will likely maintain its net income or break-even profit standing through its development phase.