UPDATE 2-Plug Power to cut about 50 pct jobs; shares rise

Thu May 27, 2010 4:01pm EDT

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* Says to cut 117 jobs in U.S., Canada, India facilities

* Expects to save $12 mln to $15 mln annually

* Shares up as much as 19 pct (Adds company comments; updates share movement)

By Vinay Sarawagi

BANGALORE, May 27 (Reuters) - Plug Power Inc (PLUG.O) said it will cut a "little less than 50 percent" jobs as part of its efforts to focus on commercial activity in the material handling market, sending the fuel-cell maker's shares up as much as 19 percent.

Plug Power will eliminate 117 jobs across all three facilities in the United States, Canada and India, the company told Reuters on the phone.

It expects to save $12 million to $15 million annually.

"This is the right move for the material handling business and the right move for Plug Power," Chief Executive Andy Marsh said in a statement.

The company said it is consolidating all operations to its Latham, New York headquarters to optimize efficiency and growth potential in the $4 billion North American material handling market.

Shares of the company were up 5 cents at 41 cents in late-afternoon trade Thursday on Nasdaq. They touched a high of 43 cents earlier in the session. (Reporting by Vinay Sarawagi in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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