Business in Brief: Elbit Systems Snags $390 Million Electronic Intelligence Deal

Following record profits, Delek Drilling to distribute $180 million in dividends; Migdal and Phoenix insurance companies report brighter Q1 profit picture; Greece’s Energean to supply gas to Israeli power stations; TASE’s TA 35 and TA 125 indexes slip on Sunday

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

Elbit Systems snags $390 million electronic intelligence deal

The Elbit Systems defense electronics company said on Sunday it had won a $390 million contract to supply ground electronic intelligence systems to an unnamed European country. The contract, which includes various intelligence capabilities, as well as communications and command and control solutions, will be carried out over three years. Earlier this month an Elbit Systems U.S. subsidiary was awarded a $166 million contract to provide operator interface and computer processing capabilities for a U.S. Army platform. Shares of Elbit, which is also listed on the Nasdaq exchange, gained 1.8% in trading in Tel Aviv on Sunday, closing at 436.10 shekels ($122.16) (Reuters and TheMarker)

Following record profits, Delek Drilling to distribute $180 million in dividends

The Delek Drilling gas exploration partnership reported Sunday that its board of directors has decided to distribute $180 million in dividends. This is the first dividend distribution since Delek Drilling and Avner Oil & Gas Exploration merged, and it reflects a dividend yield of about 13% over the past 12 months. The decision on the dividend follows the release of first quarter financial reports for the merged entity showing profits of about $78.9 million, up 23% over first-quarter 2016. The main reason for the boost in profits is continued increased demand for natural gas from the Tamar offshore field, in which Delek Drilling has a 31% stake. Delek Drilling shares rose by 2.65% on Sunday in Tel Aviv to 14.34 shekels ($4.01). (Eran Azran)

Migdal and Phoenix insurance companies report brighter Q1 profit picture

Both Midgal and Phoenix insurance companies issued first-quarter financial results Sunday reflecting higher profits. In the case of Migdal, the quarter produced an actual turnaround from a 494 million shekel ($138 million) loss for the quarter in 2016 to a 309 million shekel profit this year. Company profits were boosted by a reduction in provisions for life insurance policies and a considerable increase in the yields produced by its capital markets group. Migdal reported 230 billion shekels in assets under the company’s management at the end of the first quarter, up about 8% since December 31, 2016. The Phoenix reported first quarter profits of 270 million shekels, a substantial improvement over the 17 million-shekel profit a year earlier. A rise in interest rates boosted profits by 66 million shekels before tax compared to first-quarter 2016. Migdal Insurance shares gained 1.16% on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Sunday while The Phoenix’s stock was up by 2.13% on the news. (Assa Sasson)

Greece’s Energean to supply gas to Israeli power stations

The Greek firm Energean Oil and Gas said on Sunday it signed contracts to supply up to 23 billion cubic meters of natural gas to private Israeli power stations from the Tanin and Karish gas fields offshore Israel. The deals were signed with Dalia Power, which operates Israel’s largest private power station, and Or Power, which is planning to build new power plants, Energean said in a statement. Financial details of the deals were not disclosed. Energean bought the Karish and Tanin licenses from the Delek Group in December 2016 for an up-front cost of $40 million and $108.5 million in contingent payments. Delek and its partner Noble Energy, which together control the large nearby Leviathan and Tamar gas fields, were until now the only group to sign gas supply deals in Israel. (Reuters)

TASE’s TA 35 and TA 125 indexes slip on Sunday

The benchmark Tel Aviv 35 index slipped by 0.33% on Sunday to 1,418.59 points while the broader Tel Aviv 125 dropped by 1,296.77 to 0.38%. Trading volume for the day was 877 million shekels ($245 million). Among stocks of note, shares of Issta Lines plummeted by 10% to 90.85 shekels, on four times the average daily trading volume, following the release of its first quarter financial results after hours on Thursday. The company’s net profits were cut by 85% to 1.5 million shekels, compared to the quarter a year earlier. Allot Communications’ shares, by contrast, jumped 6.1% on news of the sale of one of its competitors, the Canadian company Sandvine, on the apparent belief by investors that perhaps Allot too would might be acquired. (Omri Zerachovitz)