Business in Briefs

Wix waxes expectations, Elbit earnings flat, MKs oppose selling 32% of Clal Insurance to Chinese investment group.

Zef Nikolla

Wix quarterly results beat expectations

Wix, the maker of website-building tools, said its quarterly loss excluding one-off items narrowed to 30 cents a share from 76 cents the same time last year, as revenue surged to $28.8 million. The results were far better than the 36 cents-a-share loss on revenue of $26.9 million that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had forecast. Wix raised its full-year revenue forecast to a range of $130 million to $133 million from a previous estimate of $127-$130 million, and representing year-over-year growth of as much as 65%. The company said it expects adjusted losses before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $38 million to $42 million. Chief Financial Officer Lior Shemesh said the company was investing more in research and development and in penetrating new markets. Wix shares were down 3.4% at $16.90 in late morning trading in New York. (TheMarker Staff)

Elbit earnings flat, but top forecasts

Defense electronics maker Elbit Systems turned in flat quarterly earnings Tuesday, but beat analysts’ estimates after winning contracts in Asia-Pacific and Latin America. The company earned $1.22 a diluted share excluding one-time items in the first quarter, unchanged from a year earlier. Revenue rose to $682.6 million from $680.2 million. It had been forecast to earn $1.07 a share on revenue of $697.2 million, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Its orders backlog rose to $6.06 billion at the end of March from $5.78 billion a year earlier, the first time it has exceeded $6 billion. Elbit shares edged up 0.3% to a close of 213.20 shekels ($61.70) in Tel Aviv. (TheMarker Staff)

MKs cast doubt on Clal Insurance sale

The sale of a 32% stake in Clal Insurance to a Chinese investment group elicited strong opposition in the Knesset Finance Committee Tuesday, claiming the sale would put Israeli savers’ money in the hand of foreigners. “We have a situation here in which a company or foreign entity can with a billion or 2 billion shekels gain control of 200 billion shekels belonging to Israel’s citizens, and this irritates me,” said the committee’s chairman, Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi). Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On said lawmakers should approach the attorney general to bar the sale until insurance regulators can devise a way on ensuring savers’ money. “Control of the public’s money with such a small investment outlay is potentially disastrous,” she said, warning of the danger of the funds managed by the insurer being lent to friends and family of the investors. Clal Insurance rose 2% to 68.90 shekels in Tel Aviv. (Zvi Zrahiya)

Delta Galil raising NIS 200 million in bonds

A week after it reported strong first-quarter results and raised its forecasts for the year, apparel maker Delta Galil is raising 200 million shekels ($57.9 million) from the sale of bonds. On Monday it competed the 160 million-shekel institutional tranche, which attracted 370 million shekels in orders, causing the company to expand the size of the issue. The public tranche will take place later this week. The Series Aleph bonds carry a yield of 4% and are rated A1 with a Stable outlook by the Midroog rating agency. (Eran Azran)

Wall Street, Europe propel TA-25 higher

Tel Aviv shares ended higher Tuesday, lifted by a record close on Wall Street overnight and six-year highs across Europe. The TA-25 index closed 0.7% up at 1,385.12 points, while the TA-100 gained 0.9% to 1,256.16. Turnover was a heavy 1.48 billion shekels ($430 million). Insurance and real estate stocks paced the gains. Although Africa Israel fell 1.5% to 7.19 shekels, Nitzba and Alrov Real Estate both advanced 4.3% to close at 54.10 and 107.10 shekels, respectively. Communications stocks were the only sector losers, with Bezeq extending losses from Monday to end down 1.2% at 6.20, and Partner Communication losing 1.1% to 29.51. Mazor Robotics was the biggest gainer in the TA-100, jumping 6% to 31.08 shekels. PhotoMedex lost 6.9% to 45 shekels after reporting poor first-quarter results overnight. (Dror Reich)