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California Spurs Production of Electric Vehicles

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California requirement encourages auto manufacturers to design zero emissions cars that fewer people want though. Chrysler Group is planning to launch an electric vehicle, which is unlikely to draw too many customers, but will certainly aid in bringing down the pollution levels. It is going to unveil Fiat 500e, battery-powered subcompact car next week, which may arrive in California during first half of 2013.

For several years, California has passed rules meant for improving its smoggy air and global warming. The rules have obliged manufacturers for more than ten years to sell some cars that make little to no tailpipe exhaust, such as hydrogen fuel-cell or electric vehicles. Almost all companies have either started selling EVs already, or plan to do so by 2013.  The state’s rules have become stricter this year. Earlier, automakers could get praise for selling lots of high-mileage and economical vehicles, like hybrids without selling any electric cars. However, those credits no longer exist and they’ll have to start selling electric vehicles even if few people are looking for purchasing.

The California rule’s impact on car manufacturers will be displayed next week at the Los Angeles Motor Show, where Chrysler’s first-ever battery powered, Fiat 500e is going to be unveiled. Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive at Chrysler predicts the company to lose about $8000-$9000 on each Fiat 500e it sells. The price of the new electric car hasn’t been disclosed yet.

General Motors will release its third battery-powered vehicle, named Spark subcompact. Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Nissan are also selling electric vehicles in the United States in order to fulfill California requirements. Toyota’s US Manager, Kevin Kinnaw, talking regarding regulatory affairs, said California can make them to sell electric cars, but it can’t generate enough consumers to purchase them. He was doubtful about getting out own dealers to order electric vehicles from automakers.

California’s zero-emission requirement has a lot of influence as the state caters to a large auto market and accounts for nearly ten percent of all US vehicle sales and because ten other states, including Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, have followed the same regulations. Manufacturers that do not meet the minimum sales requirement could be prevented from selling their products in the region.

US President, Barack Obama’s administration is also encouraging companies to produce more and more electric vehicles under the new fuel efficiency rule formed this year. The number of zero-emission vehicles that must be sold under the new rule is determined by a complex formula and can vary, depending on brands getting credits for electric, hybrid, or high-mileage autos sold in the past.

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Latest Developments: Ballard Power Systems Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:BLDP), EZCORP, Inc. (NASDAQ:EZPW), Fusion-IO, Inc. (NYSE:FIO)

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Ballard Power Systems Inc. (USA)(NASDAQ:BLDP)’s shares jumped 16.57% to $4.15. The company on June 3 held the Company’s 2013 Annual General Meeting in Burnaby, British Columbia at which all of the nominees listed in the Management Proxy Circular dated April 11, 2014 were elected as directors of the Company. Each of the Ballard directors was re-elected by a majority of the votes cast by shareholders present or represented by proxy. At the Annual General Meeting Ballard’s leadership team also provided an update on the business, including: 2013 financial results; 2014 outlook; commercial progress; quality and service developments; and the recent acquisition of the intellectual property portfolio from United Technologies Corporation.

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EZCORP, Inc. (NASDAQ:EZPW)’s stock fell 2.44% to $11.61. The company on June 18 announced the pricing of its $200 million aggregate principal amount of cash convertible senior notes due 2019 (the “Convertible Notes”). The Convertible Notes were offered in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Company granted an option to the initial purchasers for up to an additional $30 million aggregate principal amount of Convertible Notes. The Convertible Notes will pay interest semiannually at an annual rate of 2.125% and will be convertible solely into cash based on the applicable conversion rate at such time.

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Fusion-IO, Inc. (NYSE:FIO)’s shares climbed 1.67% to $11.60. SanDisk on June 16 announced a definitive agreement to acquire Fusion-io (FIO), a leading developer of flash-based PCIe hardware and software solutions that enhance application performance in enterprise and hyperscale datacenters. The acquisition will be an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.1 billion, net of cash assumed. Under the terms of the agreement, SanDisk will commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Fusion-io for $11.25 per share in cash. SanDisk will fund the acquisition with cash available on its balance sheet.

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Stocks In Focus: Oi SA (ADR)(NYSE:OIBR), Genco Shipping & Trading Limited(NYSE:GNK), Zale Corporation(NYSE:ZLC), Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.(NASDAQ:CLDX)

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Oi SA (ADR)(NYSE:OIBR) stock decreased 9.05% to $1.81. Oi SA, formerly Brasil Telecom SA, is a Brazil-based holding company engaged in the telecommunication sector. The Company is primarily involved in the provision of fixed telephony services in Brazilian states of Acre, Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Tocantins, Goias, Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Additionally, it offers a range of integrated telecommunication services, including mobile telecommunication services, data transmission and Internet service provider (ISP) services, among others.

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Genco Shipping & Trading Limited(NYSE:GNK) shares fell 6.60% to $3.54. Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (GS&T) transports iron ore, coal, grain, steel products and other drybulk cargoes along worldwide shipping routes through the ownership and operation of drybulk carrier vessels. As of December 31, 2012, GS&T’s fleet consisted of 53 drybulk carriers, including nine capesize, eight panamax, 17 supramax, six handymax and 13 handysize drybulk carriers, with an aggregate carrying capacity of approximately 3,810,000 deadweight tonnages. The average age of the Company’s fleet was approximately 7.8 years as of December 31, 2012.

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Zale Corporation(NYSE:ZLC) shares decreased 8.63% to $14.39. Zale Corporation, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a retailer of fine jewelry in North America. The Company operates in three segments: fine jewelry, kiosk jewelry and all other. As of July 31, 2012, the Company operated 1,124 specialty retail jewelry stores and 654 kiosks located mainly in shopping malls throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The Company’s fine jewelry segment consists of five brands: Zales Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Zales Outlet, Mappins Jewellers, and Gordon’s Jewelers The Company’s kiosk jewelry operates under the brand names Piercing Pagoda, Plumb Gold, and Silver and Gold Connection (collectively, Piercing Pagoda) through mall-based kiosks.

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Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.(NASDAQ:CLDX) stock fell 6.27% to $34.41. Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (Celldex), is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of several immunotherapy technologies for the treatment of cancer and other difficult-to-treat diseases. The Company’s drug candidates include CDX-110, CDX-011 and CDX-1127. CDX-110, is an immunotherapeutic vaccine that targets the tumor-specific molecule, epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII). CDX-1127 is a human monoclonal antibody that targets CD27.

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Automakers unfazed by U.S. spending cuts: Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company

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Spending cuts announced by the U.S. government on Friday were unable to make a dent in the confidence levels of automakers such as General Motors Company(NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor Company(NYSE:F), who expect demand for their vehicles to remain robust.

The U.S. is a nation obsessed with cars and though demand has been a bit sluggish of late due to the prolonged slowdown that the country is passing through, there has been a revival in consumer sentiment in recent months.

Automakers are determined to hang on to this optimism and not let it die away and have announced a slew of new fuel-efficient cars designed to be easier on the pockets of buyers, so far as their fuel consumption is concerned.

Despite a fall in the sales of its Lincoln brands, Ford reported its best February sales in six years.

It’s inevitable there might be a slight, slight offset, but I think the positive factors” boosting auto demand “will overcome,” Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said on a conference call.

According to industry figures U.S. light-vehicle sales in February rose 3.7 percent to 1.19 million, matching the average estimate of 10 analysts. The annualized sales rate, which is adjusted for seasonal trends, rose to 15.4 million from 14.5 million a year earlier. The average sales pace projected by 15 analysts was 15.3 million.

With Democrats and Republicans deadlocked over how to replace across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, totalling $1.2 trillion over nine years, President Barack Obama issued an order Friday night putting the reductions into effect — $85 billion worth for the remaining seven months of the current fiscal year.

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