(the IPO was at $13.50, it ran 50% the first day and then traded down to $6.32)
A123 Systems Inc., a maker of automotive battery systems, climbed as much as 12 percent after opening a plant to produce lithium-ion electric-car batteries in Michigan.
A123 was up 63 cents, or 8.6 percent, to $7.99 as of 11:54 a.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. Shares of the Watertown, Massachusetts-based company, which initially sold for $13.50 a year ago, have dropped 64 percent this year.
President Barack Obama, highlighting his administration’s efforts to encourage battery technology development through last year’s economic stimulus, called Chief Executive Officer David Vieau at the plant in Livonia.
“This is about the birth of an entire new industry in America -- an industry that’s going to be central to the next generation of cars,” Obama said in the phone call, according to a transcript provided by the White House.
A123 last year was awarded $249 million in federal stimulus grants out of $2.4 billion the Obama administration is spending. The company has hired 250 workers and has signed agreements with Navistar International Corp. and Fisker Automotive Inc. to supply advanced batteries for their electric vehicles, the White House said in a statement....MORE