Business in Brief: Teva Rallies on Better-than-expected Net

One in five directors think their companies pay bribes overseas ■ SodaStream shares stage rise a day after strong earnings report ■ Tel Aviv rises despite poor Wall Street open

An employee of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries at a Jerusalem plant.
Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS

Teva rallies on better-than-expected net

Enthusiasm for Teva Pharmaceuticals shares waned on Thursday as an early rally morphed into declines. The drug maker posted earnings of $1.06 a share excluding exceptional items, down from $1.20 a year ago but 3 cents ahead of what analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected. Boosted by last year’s acquisition of Allergan, revenue was up 17% from a year ago at $5.63 billion, but less than the $5.68 billion analysts had forecast. Teva affirmed its 2017 forecast for earnings of $4.90 to $5.30 a share on revenue between $23.8 billion and $24.5 billion. The company said it expected cost reductions related to Allergan to total $1.5 billion by the end of 2017, up $200 million from its previous forecast. Interim CEO Yitzhak Peterburg said Teva had cut 5,000 staff since the acquisition, as it cuts costs to help pay off the debt. Teva shares closed up 0.09% at 110.50 shekels ($30.61), well off its high for the day. (Yoram Gabison)

One in five directors think their companies pay bribes overseas 

One in five board members of Israeli publicly traded companies surveyed by the consulting firm Grant Thornton Israel admitted their companies were likely to be paying bribes to officials in foreign countries to win contracts without informing their boards. Even though 30% reported they had been aware of cases of fraud and/or embezzlement at their companies over the past two years, most companies have no formal mechanisms for preventing violations, the survey found. Some 70% of 70 directors polled said their companies had not adopted best practices for preventing foreign bribery, as recommended by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Doron Cohen, a Grant Thornton partner, said successful companies shouldn’t need to pay bribes. “Despite the difficulties in doing business in countries where bribes in common, companies can still be successful if they have a significant commercial advantage in technology or unique services,” he said. (Shelly Appelberg)

SodaStream shares stage rise a day after strong earnings report 

It took a day for the fizz to bubble up, but SodaStream International’s shares rose on Thursday, a day after they had tumbled despite the company’s reporting unusually good results. The maker of carbonated-drink machines for home use turned in earnings of 66 cents a share, up 129% year-on-year, as revenue jumped 14.3% to $115.3 million. That was well ahead of consensus estimates for EPS of 38 cents and revenue of $109.8 million, according analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research. The company sold 34% more starter kits and 12% more carbon dioxide canisters to push the base of active users up to 7.6 million. “Sales grew double digits in each of our four geographic regions as investments in marketing fueled strong demand for sparkling-water makers,” said CEO Daniel Birnbaum. Shares closed up 2.8% at 194.80 shekels ($53.96). (TheMarker Staff)

Tel Aviv rises despite poor Wall Street open

Tel Aviv shares eked out gains on Thursday, despite a weak start on Wall Street, as earnings reports moved stocks. The blue chip TA-35 index finished up 0.2% at 1,422.53 points and the TA-125 advanced 0.25% to 1,295.37 on turnover of 1.57 billion shekels ($430 million). LivePerson led gainers, soaring 16.7% by close to 33.98, even though it reported ho-hum earnings late on Wednesday. Opko Health rose 4.6% to 25.15, rebounding after shares fell in response to a bigger-than-expected loss reported the day before. Cerragon dropped 5.1% to 1.227 on a quarterly loss reported Thursday. Mazor Robotics fell 2.3% in heavy trading to 71.50, erasing its Wednesday gains. Spacecom’s issue of convertibles met up with unusually strong demand, enabling it to raise 190 million shekels from institutions, 90 million more than planned. It expects to round up another 50 million in the public tranche. (Uri Tomer)