Daily round-up / Pluristem soars after stem-cell triumph
Elbit inks deal for unmanned aerial vehicles while Alvarian consolidates stock.
Pluristem soars on successful therapy: Pluristem stock shot up 22 percent on huge turnover Monday, and naturally on Tuesday began trading with a downward correction of 1 percent, after the company announced that its stem-cell technology had saved the life of a 54-year old lymphoma patient being treated for from bone marrow failure at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The company begs to point out that this coup followed successful treatment of a 7-year old girl earlier this year, and that in both cases all other treatment options such as chemotherapy and bone-marrow transplants had been exhausted. The volume of trade in Pluristem rocketed to NIS 70 million on Monday, which is 21 times its average intraday turnover.
Elbit Systems wins $70 million drones deal: Elbit Systems won a $70 million contract to sell unmanned aerial vehicles to an unnamed South American country. The drones in question are for its Hermes 450 and 900 models, for supply over two years. The contract includes monitoring and control trailers, advanced cameras from Elbit Systems subsidiary El-Op, intelligence-related systems made by Elbit Systems subsidiary Elisra, state-of-the-art radar and other sensors. The Hermes 450 is a workhorse long in use, notably by the Israeli army. The newer 900 can fly as high as 30,000 feet and stay longer in the air, which countries that buy spy drones tend to like.
Alvarion maneuvering to avoid pink sheets: Dismayed at the prospect of being relegated to the wild west of the Nasdaq pink sheets, Alvarion has announced a consolidation of stock. Its problem is that after losing 60 percent of its value this year, the company's share price is too low – just 37 cents on Wall Street. So on Monday the company announced a special assembly of shareholders to vote on consolidating its shares, 1 to 8 or possibly even 1 to 12. The upshot would be that each share trades above the minimum required by Nasdaq. The shareholders will also be asked to vote on the reelection of several directors.
Nice work if you can get it: The Israel Military Industries is employing former Knesset member Tzachi Hanegbi as a consultant for $5,000 a month, in turns out. In fact the perennially cash-strapped government company has been employing Hanegbi as a consultant for a year and a half. On what does he advise? On relations with government, possibly. The company hasn't explained what special skills he brings that are worth $5,000 a month to it, though in a statement it lauds his "rich experience". Meanwhile, IMI has been subsisting on handouts from government, to the tune of tens of millions of shekels a month. That is one reason the Finance Ministry is dying to privatize it. But it hasn't told the company to fire Hanegbi. The ministry commented that contracts struck by any given government company is the responsibility of the government company. But it said IMI would be asked for clarifications.
With reporting by Yoram Gabison