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Recharge Your Portfolio With Altair

Updated from 9:58 a.m. EST

Earlier today we recommended investors investigate taking a speculative bet with nanotechnology company Altair Nanotechnologies (ALTI). Two minutes after our story hit the site, the company announced it had been awarded a European patent for the design development and production of Titanium Oxide structures. This process enhances the production of titanium metals, which cuts the cost of titanium production used to build military tanks.

Altair's shares have rallied some 16% in the past two hours, and in keeping with the discipline we employ in our Stocks Under $10 model portfolio, we would be selling about half of our position here and locking in the gain.

Under $10 stocks often make large moves like this on good news, and the hype around nanotechnology has enhanced the strength of Altair's performance today. Not all of our stocks rise like this, but when they do, you have to move quickly to book your gains.

Here's the original story from this morning:

Some of the stocks we select for TheStreet.com Stocks Under $10 model portfolio carry more risk than others. One such stock is Altair Nanotechnologies (ALTI).

We aren't taking a position in Altair here because we already have a number of speculative plays in the portfolio. But for those who have a high tolerance for risk, Altair is a stock to consider.

Altair appeared on our radar screen when the company announced Feb. 10 that it had achieved a breakthrough in lithium ion electrode materials that will allow it to produce a new generation of rechargeable batteries -- with three times the power of existing batteries -- for the same price. Altair's shares soared 213% in the two days after the announcement.

This news could be a harbinger of more breakthroughs to come, and we believe a small bet on Altair with discretionary funds could pay off in a big way.

First, though, let's take a quick glance at what nanotechnology actually is. In simplest terms, it is the process of fabricating particles until they are near the size of a molecule. Particles this tiny have different physical and electrochemical traits that enable manufacturers to use them to build materials that are stronger, harder and more wear-resistant. These particles have many uses and are essential in everyday items like stain-resistant clothing as well as more niche products like lighter, more durable military tanks.

Breathing Life Back Into Nanotechnology

Nanotech was a buzzword back in 2003 and early 2004, and any company that claimed it could bring a nano-based product to market saw its stock shoot to the moon. But like most crazes built more on hype than reality, the bubble burst and stocks like Altair plummeted back to earth.

Altair's recent announcement has breathed some life back into the group, and we believe there is more good news to come for the company. For one, Altair's breakthrough in battery technology, which it has already patented, could revolutionize the consumer electronics industry by allowing consumers to use portable electronic devices up to three times longer and recharge batteries in just a fraction of the time required with current technology. Altair is in discussions with some of the world's leading battery manufacturers -- though it won't disclose which ones at this point -- and we believe any formal partnership announcement will boost shares.
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