Daily Roundup / Brainsway Not Just Blowing Smoke

TASE halts trading in Brainsway stock after company says it can help people quit smoking; Tel Aviv analyst says don't buy Mellanox; Israel Chemicals gets some good news.

Stop smoking with jolts to the brain: The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange halted trading in Brainsway stock on Thursday after the company said its technology can help people stop smoking. Non-invasive stimulation of the brain proved useful to 84% of the 115 people treated over six months, the company said. Brainsway stock ended Thursday trading 3% higher on double the usual turnover. (For more useful ideas on how to stop smoking, see video at the end of this article.)

Just wanted to make sure he could call mom? Alert Customs officials caught a young Haredi man on Tuesday trying to smuggle 75 smartphones worth some NIS 350,000 into Israel. Just the week before charges were filed against a Delta Airlines steward who'd been caught with 115 phones – Israelis do love their phones but go argue that many are for one's own use. The perp in question on Tuesday had flown in to vote. He told the Customs officials that he is unemployed and had tapped his family for money to buy the phones. Sold they will be, but by the state.

Company must pay CEO, court rules: Ilan Drori, CEO of Tadbik, will get paid even though the general assembly of shareholders that is supposed to vote on his pay hasn't convened yet, a court ruled this week. Drori has worked as CEO of Tadbik from year-end 2011 without pay; this cannot continue, the court said. Nor is throwing Drori out a solution, the court growled. While the parties reach their various conclusions, the court ruled that the company shall pay Drori a salary and shall compensate him for past service while about it. He shall get NIS 66,000 a month but no bonus. Payment is contingent on a mechanism for Drori to return some or all of the money if the general assembly decides he should do so, the court added.

Don’t buy Mellanox, says DS: Late on Thursday, after Wall Street trading had closed for the night, Mellanox published its results for the last quarter of 2012. It had released an earnings warning two weeks ago and indeed reported a 22% sequential drop in revenues to $122 million. On this, Eran Jacobi, senior analyst at Tel Aviv brokerage DS Apex, said: "We thought we'd seen everything, but apparently we hadn't. The results are meaningless to the company's share price this morning, so we won't get into product mix and so on. We recommend not succumbing to temptation right now. Don't buy the share even if the price is tempting." The stock will swing madly in the months to come, he says, making it difficult to make rational decisions. "We are comfortable with our Market Perform rating and are lowering the target price to $45," he summed up.

Kardan selloff in Europe falls through: GTC Poland had hoped to improve its liquidity and profits by selling three small malls in Romania for 6 million euros. Oh, well. The company on Thursday admitted that the deals had fallen through. GTC, a subsidiary of Kardan, would have lost money but improve cash flow. The malls have been suffering from low occupancy and collection difficulties.

Vale suspends potash mine development: Good news for Israel Chemicals: the probability of a jump in world potash production lessened after Brazil's Vale, the third-biggest potash miner on the planet, said it is suspending development of a new mine in Argentina until further notice. Vale had envisioned investing some $6 billion in the mine, which was expected to produce 4.3 million tons of the fertilizer each year – increasing global capacity by 7%. That in turn would have pressed on prices. That in turn would have hurt ICL, which mines potash from the Dead Sea area. Vale's decision leaves the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan the No. 1 producer in the world.

With reporting by Yoram Gabison and Shelly Appelberg
 

Bloomberg
Ofer Vaknin