Business in Brief: Check Point Sees 3Q Hit From Yom Kippur

Fallen property entrepreneur Inbal Or jailed; Camtek sells PCB unit to Chinese fund; Pharma stocks lift TA-24 as euro, dollar slide

Stock prices flash on an electronic screen displaying world clocks at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.
Bloomberg

Check Point sees 3Q hit from Yom Kippur

Check Point Software Technologies reported a better-than-expected increase in second-quarter net profit on growing demand for software subscriptions to stop fast-evolving new threats. Israel’s biggest technology company by market value earned $1.26 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the second quarter, up from $1.09 a year earlier. Revenue grew 8% to $459 million. It was forecast to earn $1.22 a share on revenue of $455 million. It also forecast earnings per share excluding one-time items of $1.18 to $1.28 in the third quarter on revenue of $430 million-$465 million. Analysts on average were estimating EPS of $1.28 on revenue of $463 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company’s quarterly revenue forecast was reduced by $15 million because of the timing of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which falls on September 30, the last day of the quarter, CEO Gil Shwed told reporters. This translates into about 3-4 cents less for adjusted EPS. Check Point was down 7.3% to $107.30 local time in New York. (Reuters)

Fallen property entrepreneur Inbal Or jailed, to be released pending bail

Inbal Or, the residential real estate entrepreneur whose business went bankrupt last year, was jailed late on Wednesday for seven days after she failed to pay 32,500 shekels ($9,140) in payments ordered by the court that had been arrears. She was later said to be set to released pending bail. Or was detained in Jerusalem at close to midnight after Tel Aviv District Court Judge Eitan Orenstein issued the arrest order earlier in the week. She also faces tax charges connected with her Or City Real Estate and other firms, which specialized in organizing so-called purchasing groups of home buyers. Eitan Erez, the court-appointed administrator for her assets, said Or is in contempt for failing to honor three court orders to turn over various documents related to her case, as well as jewelry. “We’re constantly getting different versions from her in the matter,” said Erez. For her part, Or has said she wasn’t a signatory to the documents being sought. “Everything I have I’ve turned over,” she said recently. (Jasmin Gueta)

Camtek sells PCB unit to Chinese fund

Camtek said Thursday it had agreed to sell its printed circuit board-inspection business to Principle Capital, a Shanghai-based private equity fund, for up to $35 million. “This agreement is in line with our long-term strategy. Camtek will become a pure-play semiconductor inspection and metrology focused company, where we see many growth opportunities ahead,” Camtek CEO Rafi Amit said. “Our stronger balance sheet will also make it easier for us to explore synergetic acquisitions in our sector.” The first $32 million will be paid in cash and based on the business’ financial performance in 2018, the company said. The worldwide PCB organization is expected to remain intact, including its Israeli research and development operations that will continue to operate from Israel. Principle Capital will use the unit part of a strategy of building an Asia based PCB inspection and metrology company, the two sides said. Camtek shares closed 0.1% at 19.96 shekels ($5.61). (Omri Zerachovitz)

Pharma stocks lift TA-24 as euro, dollar slide

Pharma stocks led the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-35 index higher as the euro and dollar posted losses against the shekel on Thursday. The blue chip index climbed 0.2% to end at 1.458.12 points, while the TA-125 edged 0.03% lower to 1,307.43, on turnover of 1.1 billion shekels ($310 million). Mylan rode the crest of the pharma wave, advancing 3.3% to 140.50 and making it the TA-125’s top performer for the day. Volume leader Teva Pharmaceuticals gained 2.1% to 115.90 and Perrigo added 2.35% to 265.30. Tech stocks, however, were mostly lower even though U.S. tech stocks bested the dot.com record on Wednesday. Bezeq group shares extended their losses, with Bezeq itself down 1.3% to 5.30. Property developer Azrieli Group fell 2.15% to 195.70 in brisk turnover. In forex trading, the euro weakened 0.8% to a Bank of Israel rate of 4.1052 shekels while the dollar lost 0.4% to 3.5740, extending losses from earlier in the week. (Uri Tomer)