Daily roundup / Orckit warns of going-concern warning
Alvarion stock tanks on patent sale, lowered guidance; Isralom organizes its debt while Netanyahu talks early elections.
Orckit warns of going-concern worry: Citing losses and cash burn, Nasdaq-listed Orckit Communications warned that its future as a going concern is in jeopardy. The management statement is crucial to the company's ability to raise more money on Wall Street, if and when, because Orckit filed a draft prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the past. For the prospectus to comply with proper disclosure rules, management has to keep investors abreast of the company's financial state. That said, management is surely aware that under the circumstances, tapping the markets for money will be tricky. Orckit, which makes telecommunications networking equipment, has been slashing staff for months and remains with only 50 employees.
Stock wilts as Alvarion sells patents portfolio: Israeli WiFi pioneer Alvarion on Wednesday announced the sale of 150 patents and patent applications to Canadian company Wi-LAN, for $19 million, and lowered revenue guidance for the third quarter. The news sent its stock down 18% on Wall Street on Wednesday night. Alvarion warned that third-quarter revenues are likely to drop 30% year over year to about $27 million and that loss per share adjusted for one-time items is likely to widen to 13 cents per share, or around $8 million. Previously Alvarion had anticipated adjusted loss per share of 2-6 cents. Several clients deferred orders from the third quarter to the fourth, the company said. And, Alvarion said it would be booking a $2.5 million charge after a client in the U.S. collapsed.
Isralom reaches debt agreement: Real estate investment company Isralom has reached a new arrangement about its debts to Bank Hapoalim and the KCPS leverage fund. Isralom owes the banks about NIS 930 million and also owes NIS 215 million to bondholders. The arrangement involves the controlling shareholders, including banker Matthew Bronfman, personally covering some of the company's debt, deferral of some of the debt and beefing up collateral. Isralom and its controlling shareholders will be immediately forking over NIS 70 million, and putting NIS 30 million in a deposit to secure part of the bank debt. By January 15, the company and its controlling shareholders will repay another NIS 30 million. Isralom bonds have been trading deep in junk territory, at a yield of nearly 40%.
Shimshon fizzling: The Shimshon offshore gas field has the potential for about 15.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas in gross terms. That's less than a quarter of the preliminary estimates made in July, before drilling commenced, the partners said Tuesday. The range now estimated by Texas-based consultants Netherland, Sewell & Associates is from 8.4 billion cubic meters to 27.6 BCM. Market sources say developing the field won't pay unless it can piggyback on conduction pipelines from other deep-sea gas fields.
Aspen Group buys Dutch logistical center: Real estate company Aspen Group yesterday reported the acquisition of a logistical center in Almelo, the Netherlands from the U.S. company Timberland for NIS 129 million. The center, completed in March, has 39,000 square meters in area. Timberland will remain in occupation: it has a 10-year lease with two extension options.
Netanyahu to decide on elections within two weeks: So, will Israel head for early elections in the first quarter of next year or not? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make his final decision by the time the Knesset starts its winter session in less than two weeks, he vowed on Tuesday night. If he can cobble together a majority for his austerity budget then there will be no need, he clarified. Meanwhile he's negotiating with faction leaders of Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu and Atzmaut, each of whom has reservations about the target of proposed budget cuts.
With reporting by Moti Bassok, Shelly Appelberg, Oren Freund and Dror Raich