Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Military Industrial Nirvana
Pentagon Sales Give Powerful Jolt To Ultralife's Business
As everyone knows, the military is getting higher-tech all the time. But out in the field, there aren't many electrical outlets to power all that gear.Bet you didn't know that $47.4 million of your tax dollars goes to batteries. But isn't the fullsome tone of this typical business puff piece a little creepy?
So the Pentagon needs batteries - lots of them. It's willing to pay top dollar for batteries with high power, a long life, and resistance to bullets.
Enter Ultralife Batteries. (NasdaqNM:ULBI - News) Last year the firm started selling its lithium manganese dioxide batteries to the military, just when the war on Iraq made demand greatest.
"They hit at the right time with the right product," said analyst James McIlree of C.E. Unterberg.
Ultralife's military deals pulled in some 60% of its $79 million in sales last year. It also made 2003 the first profitable year in the firm's history.
Ultralife batteries cost 50% more than older models. But it's worth the price, analysts say. Not only are the batteries safer, they last 50% longer. So troops don't have to pack as many when they go out into the field.
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