The Ticker: Foresight Rallies on Sale of Prototype Anti-collision Tech to European Auto Maker

Pilot shortage forcing El Al to pull flights ■ Internet Gold raises NIS 100 million in private placement ■ After resisting the idea, Bezeq launches a package of internet, telephony and TV

El Al's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft
Amir Cohen/Reuters

Foresight rallies on sale of prototype anti-collision tech to European auto maker

Shares of Israel’s Foresight soared on Tuesday after the maker of automotive anti-collision technology said it made its first-ever sale of a prototype of its QuadSightTM system. The sale to the truck division of a large European vehicle manufacturer, which will use it to evaluate the system, will generate revenue of just tens of thousands of dollars, the Foresight said. But the sale of this and other prototypes is expected to provide the Israeli firm with “important customer feedback and a deeper understanding of the customers’ main requirements, enabling the company to modify the system to the customers’ needs quickly.” In addition, Foresight believes that sales of QuadSightTM prototypes will strengthen its relations with potential customers. Customer satisfaction at the end of the evaluation process is expected to lead to a large order of QuadSightTM systems by the vehicle manufacturer for mass production. Foresight shares finished up 17.1% at 2.40 shekels (67 cents). (Guy Erez)

Pilot shortage forcing El Al to pull flights

A pilot shortage has begun to effect flights at El Al Airlines and the problem may intensify as the peak summer season begins, aviation industry sources said on Tuesday after the carrier cancelled its fourth flight without prior notification in the space of a week. Management attributed the cancellations to unspecified operational problems. Industry sources said El Al was strapped for pilots because so many were involved in training for the new Boeing 767 Dreamliners being added to its fleet. Meanwhile, the two sides have been in deadlocked negotiations over how to implement the Flight Time Limitations rules going into effect in another five months, which will limit the number of hours a pilot can fly, curbing overtime pay. In many cases, El Al has avoided cancellations by leasing Israir jets and crews at an extra cost of tens of thousands of dollars per flight. El Al shares ended down 2% at 87 agorot (25 cents). 
(Gabriela Davidovich-Weisberg

Internet Gold raises NIS 100 million in private placement

Internet Gold said it expected to take in 100 million shekels ($28 million) it needs to help repay debt after it sold 8.8 million shares on Tuesday via a private placement at 11.25 shekels a share. The company also issued warrants to buy 4.4 million shares at 11 shekels each. Eurocom Communications, Internet Gold’s indebted controlling shareholder now controlled by its creditor banks, participated in the placement to prevent its 55% stake from being diluted and bought 4.8 million shares and 2.4 million warrants. The placement follows a report by the company on Sunday that it was considering offers to sell part or all of its shares in B Communications, through which it controls Israel’s largest telecoms group, Bezeq .“We will continue to assess all available alternatives to increase value for our shareholders and act in the interest of our debenture holders,” Chairman Ami Barlev said. Internet Gold shares climbed 12.3% to 12.29 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

After resisting the idea, Bezeq launches a package of internet, telephony and TV

Faced with growing competitive pressure, Bezeq on Tuesday introduced its first-ever “triple play” package of internet infrastructure, landline telephony and online television. Bezeq has long refused to offer packages like its rivals partly because of regulatory barriers but also because it was loathe to offers its services at a lower rate than it could get by selling them separately.  But growing competition, especially from online TV offerings by Cellcom Israel and Partner Communications, caused Bezeq to shift strategy. The package, which is being provided by the company’s various operating units rather than by the parent, is being offered at an introductory price of 99 shekels ($27.60) a month but will eventually rise to 199 shekels.  That makes the Bezeq package relatively expensive compared to other triple-play offerings, but differing terms between rivals makes it hard to make a direct comparison. Bezeq shares finished down 2.8% at 4.14 shekels. (Nati Tucker and Hadar Kane)

Banking, tech finish lower as Tel Aviv shares shed early gains

Tel Aviv shares surrendered their early gains on Tuesday as banking and telecom shares weighed on the market. The benchmark TA-35 index edged down 0.04% to 1,538.61 points, while the TA-125 lost 0.08% to 1,391.36, on turnover of 1.14 billion shekels ($320 million). Bank stocks were paced by declines of 1.6% to 67.92 shekels for Mizrahi Tefahot and 1.4% to 21.94 for Bank Leumi. Among telcos, B Communications shed 2.1% to 39.37, Cellcom Israel lost 2.5% to 23.32 and Partner Communications dropped 3.5% to 13.37. Pluristem fell 0.9% to 4.97 even though it said a mid-stage study of its PLX-PAD treatment to treat leg pain showed positive results. Nano Dimension, which soared Monday after being designated a U.S. government supplier, fell 8.9% to 1.80. Volume leader Nice gained 1.1% to 384.40 and Israel Chemicals added 2.8% to 17.20, lifting the shares of its parent, The Israel Corporation, an even sharper 3.9% to close at 787.60. (Eran Azran)