Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Shares Rebound From Sharp Losses

New antitrust chief barred from cases involving aviation; Tnuva and credit card clearance cases; JEC shares climb on offer for its Darban unit.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).Credit: Bloomberg

Tel Aviv shares rebound from last week’s sharp losses

Tel Aviv shares rebounded Sunday from sharp declines at the end of last week, in a broad-based rally led by tech shares.

The benchmark TA-25 index rose just over 1% to 1,397.61 points, following gains by Wall Street’s Friday rally, although trading volume was a tepid 549 million shekels ($141.4 million). The TA-100 rose a sharper 1.4% to close at 1,197.77, with only four shares showing losses for the day.

Among tech shares, LivePerson jumped 8.2% to close at 16.85 shekels, turning around from a deep drop on Thursday following disappointing earnings. Mazor Robotics finished 7% higher at 18.06. Other big gainers were SodaStream, which rose 6.2% to 52 shekels, and Industrial Buildings, which added 6% to 2.86 shekels.

Teva Pharmaceuticals led the most actives on a gain of 1.6% to 216 shekels. And another U.S. real estate company, MB, has filed a prospectus to sell up to $100 million in bonds in Tel Aviv, TheMarker has learned.

New antitrust chief barred from cases involving aviation, Tnuva, credit card clearance

Michal Halperin, the incoming antitrust commissioner, will be barred from cases involving the aviation industry, dairy company Tnuva and matters relating to credit-card clearing services, under a conflicts of interest agreement she reached with the government as she takes up her new post.

The document, which was released on Sunday, also bars her from cases involving her husband, Avner Halperin, or close relations or major clients of her law firm, Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal & Company. The list of companies includes El Al Airlines, Adama, Germany’s Siemens, Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline and Bank Leumi, among others.

Halperin, who has been a partner in the firm since 2007, is due to become commissioner next month, after winning cabinet approval last week. She is also required to leave the firm immediately, settle all payments due her within 60 days and remove her name from the firm’s website.

JEC shares climb on offer for its Darban unit

Shares of Jerusalem Economy Corporation jumped Sunday after JTLV Investments, a real estate investment fund led by Amir Biran, offered to buy the troubled property company’s Darban unit for 1 billion shekels ($258 million).

The sale would help JEC cope with its severe liquidity problems by providing it with badly needed cash, said Ady Fighel, the attorney who represents the institutional shareholders in JEC.

“The proposed deal would, on the face of it, be the best solution for the company’s cash flow problems and add to shareholder value,” he said in a letter to JEC’s board. The board was due to meet last night to discuss the JTLV offer, as well as a proposal by Bank Leumi to sell its 28% stake in JEC as collateral to Shlomo Nehama, a former Bank Hapoalim chairman. Shares of JEC closed up 12.6% at 5.05 shekels.

CyberArk shares plunge off weak earnings outlook

CyberArk shares plunged Friday after disappointing the market with a weaker-than-expected earnings outlook for this year. For fourth-quarter 2015, the Israel cyber company reported earnings of 39 cents a share, up from 21 cents a year ago, after discounting certain items.

Revenues climbed 42% to $51.5 million. That put CyberArk well ahead of the average of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research for earnings of 20 cents and revenues of $44.1 million.

But the good news ended there: For the current quarter, CyberArk said earnings would 15-16 cents, less than the 17 cents analysts had been predicting. For the year, the company said EPS would be 83-86 cents, much less than the 91 cents consensus forecast. Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Nowinski cut his price target on CyberArk stock to $55 from $67, but reiterated his “Overweight” rating. Shares of CyberArk ended down close to 11% at $32.78 in New York.

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