The Ticker / Elbit Systems Gets $73.4M U.S. Pact

Paz posts Q4 loss, higher '14 profit, Adama Q4 loss widens, ICL seeks to expand abroad and TASE hits record.

Ancho Gosh / Jini

Elbit Systems wins $73.4 million U.S. Marines contract

The defense-electronics firm Elbit Systems said Sunday that the U.S. Marines awarded its U.S. subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, a $73.4 million contract to supply laser range-measurement equipment to the U.S. military force. Raanan Horowitz, chief executive of the U.S. unit, said the systems enable Marines to find targets without breaking cover from concealed fighting positions Two weeks ago, Elbit’s Israeli parent, which is based in Haifa and trades on both the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq, reported a 4.8% increase in fourth-quarter revenue due in part to a 10.7% increase in aeronautic equipment sales. Its land-based systems revenue remained stagnant. (Omri Zerachovitz and Reuters)

Paz Oil reports 4th-quarter loss, higher 2014 profit

Paz Oil reported a 7-million-shekel ($1.7 million) 4th-quarter loss, compared with a 9-million-shekel profit in the year-earlier quarter, due to a decline in the value of inventory and rise in the dollar’s value against the shekel. For all of 2014, Paz reported the highest profit of any publicly traded Israeli energy company: 172 million shekels ($42.5 million) of net income, a 56% improvement from 2013. Paz’s 2014 adjusted net income, which excluded such factors as oil-price-hedge transactions and foreign-currency fluctuations, jumped 39%. The company, which is controlled by Zadik Bino, has a market capitalization of 5.85 billion shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Adama 4th-quarter loss widens on IPO expense

Adama Agricultural Solutions reported a wider quarterly loss due to one-time expense from preparations for a New York initial public offering, a move that was postponed. The world’s largest provider of generic crop-protection products on Sunday reported a loss of $32.6 million compared with a $29.1 million loss a year earlier, when it also had a tax benefit. Adama’s revenue grew 2.8% to $674 million in the October-December period, led by gains in North America, Latin America and Europe. Sales to Asia-Pacific, Africa and Israel declined. The company warned that its 2015 results would be burdened by foreign-currency movements and the drop in agricultural-commodity prices. China National Chemical Corp. owns 60% of Adama, while Discount Investment Corp. owns the rest. (Reuters and Omri Zerachovitz)

ICL seeks to expand abroad as its Israeli taxes rise

Israel Chemicals Ltd. Is planning to expand operations abroad as it faces increased tax liabilities in Israel, Bloomberg News reported on Friday. As part of that effort, Bloomberg said ICL would consider buying all or part of Chile’s largest fertilizer producer, Soc. Quimica & Minera de Chile, which has a market cap of $5.72 billion. “This is big for us to swallow, but I’m sure we would look at it,” ICL CEO Stefan Borgas told Bloomberg. The New York-based news service cited Israeli windfall taxes on natural-resource companies as of 2017; ICL’s failure to win approval for a phosphate mine due to environmental concerns, and the company’s labor problems in southern Israel as problems the company has been encountering in the country. (TheMarker)

Huggies recall

Consumers are being advised not to use any of a batch of Huggies unscented wipes that were improperly manufactured and contain twice the usual amount of a preservative substance. The high concentration can cause skin irritation. The batch, which has now been recalled from stores, was sold in a four-pack with a production date of 15-2-15, catalogue number 5462 and batch number ending 981 on each individual package. The products’ expiration date is July 2017. They can be exchanged by calling 077-8965391. (Ruti Levy)

Tel Aviv 25 index hits record

The Tel Aviv-25 Index hit a record 1,622.59 points, up 1.34% on the day. The broader Tel Aviv-100 index rose 1.07% to 1,421.68. Sunday trading on the TASE was conducted as investors awaited the Bank of Israel’s Monday decision on interest rates for April. The dollar and the euro surged against the shekel in trading on Friday. The representative rate of the greenback was set 1.17% higher at 4.053 shekels while the European common currency climbed 1.44% to 4.329 shekels. The Banks-5 index rose 1.6%, as did the Communications index. Trading volume was 1.12 billion shekels ($276.5 million). Among standout shares were real estate firm Melisron, up 4%, Teva Pharmaceutical, which climbed 1%, and peer drugmaker Perrigo, up 2%. Shares of Allium Medical Solutions surged 74% on news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed the success of a clinical trial conducted by an Allium subsidiary. Ham-Let (Israel-Canada) shares dropped 4.5% on the release of its latest financial results. The company makes valves and fittings. (Omri Zerachovitz)