Business in Brief
Israeli firm may have struck gold in the Mediterranean, Mellanox shares slump and Arison divines that this is a good time to get out of water-tech.
Lapidoth-Heletz says Oz license may hold 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas
The Lapidoth-Heletz Partnership said Sunday its Oz license off Israel’s Mediterranean coastline has 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 255 million barrels of oil, based on preliminary estimates. The estimate, coming six months after the partnership’s Shemen license came up dry, would make Oz about twice the size as the Tethys Sea license, Israel’s first commercial gas field. The license, which is located south of the failed Sara and Mira licenses (west of Netanya), is in waters about 1,150 meters deep. “The proximity of the license to reservoirs known to have natural gas and oil reinforced our view that the licenses would prove to hold significant amounts of gas and oil,” said Eli Kamar, Lapidoth’s CEO. Shares of Lapidoth-Heletz, which holds a 31.5% stake in Oz, closed up 11.3% to 15 agorot (4 cents) in Tel Aviv.
Mellanox shares plunge on disappointing results
Shares of Mellanox Technologies plunged 15.3% to $33.61 on Friday in New York, a day after it reported first-quarter results below analysts’ expectations. The company, which makes equipment for speeding up data transfers, said net income was unchanged from a year ago on a non-GAAP basis at 10 cents a share – 1 cent less than analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected. Revenues dropped 6.5% from a year earlier to $98.7 million, coming up short $4.2 million less than forecasts. Gross margins, however, were higher, at 68.6% in the three months. CEO Eyal Waldman termed the figures an “achievement” in light of the weak market environment, citing among other things lower-than-expected revenues from one of its largest customers. “We believe that we will grow year-over-year in 2014 with our growth accelerating in the second half of the year,” he said.
Arison selling kibbutz water-tech company Dorot
Arison Investments, the investment vehicle for Bank Hapoalim’s controlling shareholder Shari Arison, is selling its Dorot Control Valves unit for 70 million shekels ($20.2 million), plus another 70 million-shekel capital infusion that will be used by Dorot to repay shareholders’ loans to Arison. The sale, to the Spanish company Regaber, will put an end to a failed investment in the company, which was part of Arison’s strategy for entering the water-technology business when it bought a 96% stake in 2008. Under the agreement, Arison could earn another 30 million shekels on the sale if Dorot meets targets over the next few years. The agreement requires Regaber to continue operating Dorot at its home at Kibbutz Dorot, southern Israel – where it employs some 220 people – for the next 10 years.
Yanai named chairman of U.S. pharma company Cambrex
Shlomo Yanai, a former Israeli general and CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals, was Thursday named the nonexecutive chairman of Cambrex Corporation, a New Jersey-based pharmaceuticals company. He takes over immediately following the retirement of John R. Miller, who had held the post since 2008. Yanai joined Cambrex in November 2012 as its nonexecutive vice chairman and member of the governance committee. Yanai was CEO of Teva for five years until the middle of 2012, and before that was head of the agrochemicals company Makhteshim Agan Industries. He was with the Israel Defense Forces for 32 years, rising to the post of head of the planning branch from 1998 to 2001.
Tel Aviv shares end down, led by technology
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange took another dip Sunday as a lower Wall Street over the weekend weighed on technology shares. The benchmark TA-25 index finished down 0.5% at 1,383.41 points and the broader TA-100 shed 0.7% to end at 1,258.17. With just 477 million shekels ($137 million) changing hands, turnover was very low – even for a Sunday. Internet firm LivePerson led the losers in the TA-100 index, falling 6.4% to 35.14 shekels. Other tech stocks to suffer included Allot, which fell 4.7% to a close of 44.05 shekels and Nova Measuring Instruments, which dropped 3.6% to 34.74 shekels. Teva Pharmaceuticals, the volume leader, was down 3.2% by close at 168.90 shekels. Harel Insurance, which was hit hard last week on news of proposed reforms in health insurance, rose 0.9% to 19.54 shekels. Clal Insurance fell 1.2% to 67.45 shekels on news that parent company IDB Development Corporation was delaying a decision on selling a controlling stake to a Chinese investor group till Thursday.