A Co(OH)2-graphene nanosheets (Co(OH)2-GNS) composite as a high performance anode material was firstly prepared through a simultaneous hydrothermal method. The structure, morphology and electrochemical performance of the obtained samples were systematically investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and electrochemical measurements. According to the TEM analysis, the surface of the Co(OH)2 is surrounded with GNS in the Co(OH)2-GNS composite. The specific discharge (lithiation) and charge (delithiation) capacities of Co(OH)2-GNS attain to 1599 and 1120 mAh/g at a current density of 200 mA/g in the first cycle, respectively. After 30 cycles, the reversible capacity of Co(OH)2-GNS is still 910 mAh/g with the retention of 82%. The particular structure of Co(OH)2 particles surrounded by the GNS could limit the volume change during cycling and provide an excellent electronic conduction pathway, which could be the main reason for the remarkable improvement of electrochemical performance. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.