Business in Brief


Orbotech reports four-fold gain in quarterly net

Orbotech, which makes equipment for manufacturing printed circuit boards, flat panel displays and other electronic components, said yesterday that its net income from continuing operations jumped nearly four-fold in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $14.6 million, or 34 cents a diluted share, from the same time in 2012. The earnings were three cents a share better than what analysts had forecast. Revenues reached $122.2 million, up 26% from a year ago. “We remain optimistic regarding the outlook for 2014, when we expect to further grow our business and strengthen our position,” CEO Asher Levy said. Orbotech said it expected that first-quarter 2014 revenues will likely be the lowest for any quarter of the year, at approximately $105 million. Orbotech shares were down 3.7% to $13.48 in New York at mid-day. Orbotech said it expected that first-quarter 2014 revenues will likely be the lowest for any quarter of the year, at approximately $105 million.(Yoram Gabison)

Lumenis returing to Nasdaq after a decade

Lumenis, the maker of cosmetic lasers, is getting ready to return to the stock market after a 10-year absence amid record high share prices and investor appetite for biotech companies. The company began over the weekend selling 6.25 million shares at $16 each to raise a total of $99 million, an offering that values the company, which will trade on the Nasdaq, at $565 million. The company, which is controlled by the Viola-LM Partners and XT Hi-Tech private equity funds, boosted 2013 profit 150% to $17.4 million on a 7% increase in sales to $213.8 million. Goldman, Sachs as well as Credit Suisse Securities and Jefferies will serve as joint book-running managers. (Dror Reich)

Hot CEO steps down, takes job at Altice

Hertzel Ozer, CEO of Hot, is stepping down after five years to take a job helping develop the business of its parent company, the European telecommunications company Altice, the cable television operator said yesterday. Ozer will be replaced by Zachi Ilan, now CEO of Hot’s mobile phone unit, on March 1, the company said. In addition to his job at Altice, which is controlled by French telecoms entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, Ozer will continue to serve as Hot’s chairman. (Amitai Ziv)

Gilat posts a fourth-quarter loss

Gilat Satellite Networks, the maker of satellite communications equipment, ended the fourth quarter with a $1 million loss, or 2 cents a diluted share, turning back from a $6 million net profit a year ago. The quarterly loss left Gilat with a net loss of $1.1 million for all of 2013, compared with net income of $17.6 million in 2012. Revenues for the quarter were $55.7 million, down from $76.5 million a year ago, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to $2.5 million from $8.9 million. “2013 was a challenging year for Gilat,” said CEO Erez Antebi. “Looking forward, we have worked to streamline the company and its cost structure. We begin 2014 with a healthy balance sheet, strong cash position and a backlog which has more than doubled from 2013.” Shares of Gilat were down 5.9% at $5.09 in New York at midday. (TheMarker Staff)

ClickSoftware buys U.S. company Xora

ClickSoftware Technologies, a provider of mobile workforce management technology for the service industry, said yesterday it agreed to acquire Xora in a merger, a company in a similar line of business. ClickSoftware said it would pay about $14.7 million in cash for the Mountain View, California-based company. “Xora’s extensive and long term experience selling packaged apps through the wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, considerably expands our distribution channels,” ClickSoftware CEO Moshe Ben Bassat. (TheMarker Staff)

TA-25 edges higher in day of volatile trading

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index eked out a gain in another session of thin trading yesterday, mirroring the volatile trading in stock markets around the world after the Bank of Japan unveiled a fresh stimulus program. The benchmark index ended the session up 0.1% at 1,321.08 points while the TA-100 added 0.25% to a close of 1,222.76. Turnover was well under the billion-shekel mark, withjust 896.6 million shekels ($255.4 million). Leading the gainers in the TA-100, Nova Measuring Instruments rose 3.7% to close at 41.1 shekels after reporting fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled to $4.1 million from a year earlier. Alon Blue Square dropped 2.4% to 13.28 shekels after the credit rating agency Midroog put the retailing group on its watch list. Teva Pharmaceuticals rose 2.4% tp 159.90 shekels. Chairman Phillip Frost told Bloomberg News he may retire before his board term ends next year. In foreign currency trading, the dollar appreciated 0.09% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.512 shekels while the euro rose 0.3% to 4.8226. (Dror Reich)

HOT offices.Credit: Ofer Vaknin



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