Vast moves in stock price, a sold-out production situation and a record quarter have kept the phones ringing and made life interesting at Zoltek Cos. Inc. in St. Louis. Zoltek supplies oxidized polyacrylonitrile fiber for composite reinforcements. The firm's stock price has gone up and down more than $10 in a day.
Steve Schneider, security analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc. in St. Louis, attributed the price swings to so-called momentum players in the market, and Nas-daq's small-order execution system.
``Cabot Market Letter,'' a financial newsletter of Cabot Heritage Corp. of Salem, Mass., featured Zoltek and its low-cost carbon-fiber concept in a supplement distributed April 19.
On May 8, Zoltek's 6.9 million shares fell to $80 each from $90.63 the previous day. The 52-week range: a $94.25 high and $12 low.
The 4.7 million shares issued in September at around $20 each had a market cap of about $96 million.
Production expansion is under way in Hungary, and Zoltek expects to identify a U.S. site soon in a ``dry, warm climate'' to expand its carbon fibers manufacturing capacity, Zsolt Rumy, chief executive officer said in a May 8 telephone interview.
`The site in St. Louis was designed for a much smaller plant,'' he said.
In April, the company broke ground for a facility to house two continuous carbonization lines at its Magyar Viscosa Reszventar-susag plant near Budapest, Hun-gary.
``Our challenge continues to be adding new capacity fast enough to keep pace with demand,'' Rumy said. ``We expect to complete [two batch furnaces] in the specialty product line'' by the end of June.
For the second quarter, ended March 31, Zoltek reported profit of $1.2 million on sales of $18.9 million, including the Hungary operations for the first time for a full period.