Newswire

UPDATE 2-Ballard stock surges on automotive fuel cell deal

(Adds closing stock price)

TORONTO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Shares of Ballard Power Systems closed at their highest level in four months on Monday after the fuel cell developer said it had won a $1.88 million order from a new automotive customer for its fuel cell engine and support services.

Ballard's stock closed up 14 percent, or C$3.04, to C$24.74 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. On Nasdaq, it finished 13.7 percent, or $1.89, higher at $15.69.

The company did not name its new customer, or outline terms of the deal. The contract includes its Mark 902 fuel cell engine, engineering, integration, and vehicle launch support.

Ballard has been a leading developer of alternative energy technology, but most of the products that will use its fuel cells are still in the pre-commercialization stage.

"Getting an additional customer ... doesn't hurt for the company. It's just kind of a validation. What they're trying to work on is being recognized in the industry," said Sanjay Shrestha, an analyst at First Albany Corp.

Shrestha added that Ballard may also have attracted bargain-hunters who have seen the stock tumble more than 50 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange since April.

But, he said, he remained skeptical that news of a new customer justified the stock's sharp rise on Monday.

"Quite frankly, I don't see any reason to be bullish on the stock at this point," he said, maintaining a "neutral" rating on Ballard's stock.

($1=$1.57 Canadian)