Business in Brief: Securities Investigators Raid Offices of Online Currency Trader

LivePerson shares sink after it misses loss estimates | Amdocs turns in small gains for sales, profit in quarter

Moti Milrod

Securities investigators raid offices of online currency trader

Israel Securities Authority investigators raided the Ramat Gan offices of the retail foreign currency trading site iTrader on Tuesday and arrested at least seven people, TheMarker has learned. The ISA declined to comment on any raids, but iTrader’s website went down on Tuesday. Seven people, including CEO Ido Fishman, were scheduled to be brought before a judge Wednesday for a detention hearing. The raid comes as Israeli authorities crack down on foreign-exchange websites, which let users buy and sell financial instruments and currencies, with the company acting as the countertrade party. Since a law regulating their activities went into effect in May 2015, 21 companies applied for licenses but the ISA has approved only six companies, among them FXCM and Plus500. iTrader was not among them but the company maintained a high profile, including acting as a sponsor of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team. A lawyer for the company said iTrader complied with regulations and had applied for a license. (Eran Azran and Shelly Appelberg)

LivePerson shares sink after it misses loss estimates

Shares of LivePerson took a dive Wednesday after the maker of  business messaging technology posted a wider-than-expected loss in third quarter. The company said its adjusted loss was $2.9 million, or 5 cents a share, turning around from a year-earlier profit of $2.1 million, or 4 cents. LivePerson posted revenue of $54.5 million, down 10% from a year ago. The loss was far wider than the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research for a loss of 2 cents. The company said the poor results were an inescapable part of its new strategy of moving customers to its new LiveEngage product. “In our view, the revenue growth we’re sacrificing near-term is worth a substantially greater opportunity that will be afforded long-term by executing on our vision,” Chief Financial Officer Dan Murphy told analysts in a conference call. LivePerson shares ended down 3.6% to 30.83 shekels ($8.08) in Tel Aviv. (TheMarker)

Amdocs turns in small gains for sales, profit in quarter

Amdocs, a maker of software for telecommunications companies, said Wednesday that fiscal fourth-quarter revenue and profits grew slowly from a year earlier, in line with Wall Street’s and the company’s own forecasts. Net income adjusted for some items was $132.4 million, or 89 cents per diluted share, up 1.5% from $130.4 million, or 84 cents, a year ago and in line with the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research. Revenue also edged up 1.5%, to $940.7 million amid sluggish U.S. sales. Revenues were slightly ahead of the $939.1 million Zack’s analysts had predicted. For the current, Amdocs said it expects its per-share earnings between 87 cents and 93 cents and revenue between $935 million and $975 million. The board approved an increase in the company’s quarterly cash dividend payment to 22 cents a share, to be paid in April 2017, it said. Amdocs shares were down 4% to $56 at midday local time in New York. (Omri Zerachovitz)