Market Report

TA-25 Index Ends Down for Second Day

Wall Street decline, poor financial reports at home prompt fall.

Tel Aviv shares finished lower for a second day on Tuesday, as Wall Street fell and third-quarter earnings back at home weighed on many stocks.

After a brief move higher at the opening, the benchmark TA-25 index of blue chips was down 0.2% by the end of the day at 1,309.07 points. The broader TA-100 edged down 0.1% to 1,188.54 as turnover reached NIS 1.14 billion.

Among companies reporting results for the quarter, OPKO Healthcare fell 3.5% after it reported a net loss of $60 million, close to six times its loss a year ago, even as revenues nearly doubled to $20.6 million.

Hadera Paper Mills dropped 7.5% after its third-quarter loss widened nearly 10-fold to NIS 6.1 million due to a big loss at its Turkish subsidiary. Revenues were down 8.7% at NIS 444.6 million, the company said. Ceragon, the maker of wireless backhaul equipment, fell 4.2% after it turned in a net loss of $4.5 million on a non-GAAP basis for the third quarter on Monday. Revenues were down 21% from a year ago at $117.1 million.

Nonetheless, other companies reporting disappointing earnings finished the session higher.

Cellcom Israel, the country’s largest mobile phone operator, rose 2.3% even though it reported a 58% drop in profit to NIS 52 million in the third quarter, from NIS 124 million a year earlier. Cellcom was forecast to earn NIS 63 million, according to a Reuters poll. Investors were encouraged, however, by Cellcom’s saying it would resume paying dividends, starting with an NIS 85 million payout this quarter.

Perion, which is due to merge with Conduit ClientConnect division, jumped 13%. The software-download company said net profit dropped 30% from the second quarter to $4.5 million as revenues slumped 12% to $21.3 million, However, ClientConnect said its revenue rose 58% to $80.9 million while profit increased 44% to $19.4 million.

Dow Jones hits another record close

U.S. stocks fell yesterday after the Dow Jones index hit another record close in the previous session, as investors shifted focus to how soon the Federal Reserve may begin reducing stimulus. Speculation that the Fed might shortly begin to scale back buying its $85 billion a month in bonds has grown since publication of the surprisingly strong U.S. jobs data for October, which caused a spike in U.S. Treasury yields.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.1% at 15,772.12. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index were both down 0.2% at 1,768.57 and 3,911.82, respectively. On Monday, the Dow index posted its 35th record close of the year

European shares edged lower as a fresh set of weak corporate results put the brakes on a rally that had pushed a key regional equity index to a five-year high last week. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit a five-year high of 1,316.42 points on November 7, was down by 0.4% at 1,292.66 points in late session trading.

In local foreign currency trading, the dollar remained steady for another day, weakening less than 0.03% against the shekel to a Bank of Israel rate of NIS 3.5340. The euro, which has been losing ground to the shekel in recent days, continued lower, shedding 0.3% of its value to NIS 7.7337.

Among other major movers, the online translation company Babylon extended its Monday rally, finishing 7% higher as it savored the news that Yahoo would not be ending its key revenue-sharing contract with the company.

Oil Refineries Limited ended 6.4% higher, EZchip added 3.4% and Allot Communications rose 2.1% by close, the latter after it reported it had won a $3 million order for its Allot Service Gateway from a major Asian customer.

Avner and Ratio led the energy sector lower, with losses of 1.2% and 1.8%, respectively. The TA-Oil and Gas index was down 1.2% at 1,287.86.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Dan Keinan