Business in Brief: Delek Triples Size of Bond Sale Amid Surge in Demand

Wix to launch automatic website-building product; Amdocs tops analysts’ forecast for quarter; Energy shares gain in otherwise lower Tel Aviv market.

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.
Bloomberg

Delek triples size of bond sale amid surge in demand

Faced with an avalanche of demand, Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group late on Tuesday tripled the size of a 400-million-shekel ($104 million) sale of convertible bonds to institutional investors.

The sale, the first since the natural-gas framework was approved this year, elicited orders of 1.8 billion shekels. “The huge demand was because the issue was for convertibles, not straight bonds,” said one source involved in the sale. “There are very few convertibles today, which is a big failure. One for a company whose stock price is highly volatile offers real value.”

The bonds were offered in two series, due in 2.9 years and five years and paying rates of 1.7% and 2.8%, respectively. They sold at prices of 97.4 shekels and 99.5 shekels, giving holders yields of 1.73% and 2.95%. The public tranche will likely occur next Monday.

Shares of Delek finished up 0.6% at 810.90 shekels. (Eran Azran)

Wix to launch automatic website-building product

Shares of Wix.com, which helps small businesses build and operate websites, rallied Wednesday after it said it expects its new service that can automatically design a website in about a minute will be fully launched in a matter of weeks.

The company rolled out its Artificial Design Intelligence technology on a small scale in June and said the initial response has been very favorable.

Meanwhile, Wix reported a second-quarter loss of 9 cents a share, excluding one-time items, versus a 21 cent loss a year earlier. Revenue grew 41% to $68.7 million. It was forecast to lose 12 cents a share on revenue of $66.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Wix raised its 2016 revenue guidance to as much as $280 million from a previous top forecast of $277 million, and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization outlook to between $34 million and $36 million, from $30 million to 32 million. Wix jumped 14.8% to $36.35 late morning local time in New York. (Reuters)

Amdocs tops analysts’ forecast for quarter

Amdocs on Tuesday turned in fiscal third-quarter results ahead of market expectations.

The company said net income after adjustments edged up 3.4% to $135.6 million, or 90 cents a diluted share, up from $131.2 million, or 84 cents, a year earlier as revenue rose 2.4% to $930.1 million. The results surpassed an average Wall Street estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research for earnings of 87 cents and revenues of $927.6 million.

For the current quarter, Amdocs said it expected earnings of 85 cents to 91 cents and revenue of $920 million to $960 million.

“We enter our fourth fiscal quarter encouraged by our sales momentum and record backlog although we remain cognizant of the many moving parts affecting our outlook. These include the ongoing challenges of the global macroeconomic and industry environment in which we operate,” said CEO Eli Gelman.

Amdocs shares were down 1% to $57.97 late morning local time in New York. (TheMarker)

Energy shares gain in otherwise lower Tel Aviv market

Tel Aviv shares ended lower Wednesday in light trading, although energy shared bucked the trend.

The benchmark TA-25 index finished 0.2% down at 1,458.58 points, while the TA-100 lost 0.1% to 1,273.91. Turnover was 973 million shekels ($253 million). Dual-listed stocks topped losers on the TA-100: Mylan ended down 1.75% at 179.30 shekels, SodaStream off 1.6% at 92.04 and Nice System down 1.5% at 247.

But the Oil & Gas index rose 1.6% to close at 1,077.21. Africa Israel jumped 9.1% to 1.26 amid speculation about an impending debt-bailout deal. Plasson rose 6.7% to 105.60 after it said it was it has a preliminary agreement to buy 70% of Brazil’s Sangyo Equipamentos Avícolas for the equivalent of 19 million shekels. 

Biotech shares were also higher amid a spate of news. Among them, Itamar Medical advanced 3.7% to 1.34 after U.S. regulators cleared its WatchPAT device for diagnosing sleep apnea in adolescents as young as 12. (Shelly Appelberg)