Business in Brief: Shares Soar After Company Reports Smaller-than-expected Loss

Orbotech earnings rise but revenues decline in fourth quarter; Allot disappoints with first-quarter earnings; European turnaround pushes Tel Aviv stock higher.

Shelly Appelberg
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Stock prices flash on an electronic screen displaying world clocks at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.
Stock prices flash on an electronic screen displaying world clocks at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Credit: Bloomberg
Shelly Appelberg shares soar after company reports smaller-than-expected loss 

Shares of Wix soared Wednesday after the Israeli company, which helps small businesses build and operate websites, reported a smaller-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter.

Wix posted a quarterly loss of 13 cents a share excluding one-time items, down from a 25-cent loss a year earlier. Revenue grew 37% to $56.8 million, or $59.8 million excluding currency effects. Wix was forecast to lose 17 cents a share on revenue of $55.8 million, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

During the quarter Wix added 4.7 million registered users for a total of 77 million. Of that, it added 125,000 paid subscribers, a 43% increase, to reach 1.77 million. Wix projected 2016 revenue of between $270 million and $274 million, up as much as 35% from 2015, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of up to $30 million for an annual gain of as much as 104%.

Wix shares were up 11.2% at $17.62 late-morning local time in New York. (Reuters)

Orbotech earnings rise but revenues decline in fourth quarter

Orbotech, which makes manufacturing equipment for the electronics industry, said its net profit, excluding certain items, climbed 6.8% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, beating market expectations.

The company said its non-GAAP net income reached $23.4 million, or 54 cents a share, up from $21.9 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 51 cents for the fourth quarter. But revenue declined to $188.2 million, from $197.5 million a year earlier.

For the current quarter ending in April, Orbotech said it expects revenue in the range of $184 million to $192 million and gross margin of approximately 45%.

Orbotech shares rallied on the news, rising 5.7% to $20.49 late-morning local time in New York. (TheMarker Staff)

Allot disappoints with first-quarter earnings

Allot Communications, a maker of network management technology, reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings late on Tuesday.

The company said net income after discounting for certain items fell to just $700,000, or 2 cents a share. This compares to a non-GAAP net loss of $0.7 million, or $0.02 per basic and diluted share, turning around from a profit of $3.4 million, or 10 cents a share, a year earlier. That put it at half the average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, which was for earnings of 4 cents.

“We are starting the year with higher backlog than a year ago. This supports our expectations to achieve top line growth during 2016 as well as improved profitability,” said CEO Andrei Elefant.

Meanwhile, the company said its board approved offering certain employees who hold options worth less than the current share price to exchange them.

Shares of Allot, fell 2% Wednesday to end at 18.19 shekels ($4.68). (TheMarker Staff)

European turnaround pushes Tel Aviv stock higher

Tel Aviv shares got a lift from Europe Wednesday as concerns about the health of the banking industry eased.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s benchmark TA-25 index ended the day 0.3% higher at 1,422.29 points, while the broader TA-100 index added 0.35% to 1,215.46 points, on turnover of just over 1.1 billion shekels ($284.4 million).

Blue chips were led higher by Teva Pharmaceuticals’ 2% advance to 225.30 shekels and Bank Hapoalim’s 2.3% rise to 18.12, but Israel Chemicals dropped 1.5% to 16.06. Tech stocks were also weaker, with declines paced by Mazor Robotics, which finished down 2% at 17.54, and Nice Systems, which lost 1.6% to end at 213.50.

Dori Construction rose 5.3% to 34 agorot after the company said it would buy the public’s 16.5% stake in the financially troubled company. A day earlier, bondholders gave Dori three months to try to sort out its debt. Partner Communications ended up 2.4% at 17.38. (Shelly Appelberg)