Idan Ofer, the controlling shareholder of The Israel Corporation, on Wednesday denied reports the holding company was considering pulling out of Qoros, its struggling car making venture in China, The Wall Street Journal reported. In a letter released to the newspaper, Ofer said he is “looking forward to competing all over the planet with established OEMS,” referring to original equipment manufacturers. The letter said he has “no doubt that we will grow this company to be a respected, profitable OEM, starting in China, our home market. Sales have not met expectations for the 505-50 joint venture Israel Corporation has with the Chinese auto maker Chery Automobile to make cars in China, and Chinese media reported in recent weeks that Ofer might abandon it. Israel Corporation shares rose 1.7% to 1,877 shekels ($495) in Tel Aviv. (TheMarker Staff)
Stratasys cuts profit forecast for this year
Stratasys, the Israel-U.S. maker of 3D printers for home and industrial use, on Wednesday cut its profit forecast for 2014, citing its September acquisition of computer-aided design systems developer GrabCAD and high development costs. The company reaffirmed its full-year revenue forecast of $750 million to $770 million, but cut its profit forecast to $2.21-$2.31 per share from $2.25-$2.35. For the third quarter, however, Stratasys reported a 62% jump in revenue to $203.6 million, helped by strong demand for its MakerBot-branded consumer products and services. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 58 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 57 cents. Stratasys shares, which plunged almost 11% on Wednesday after the profit warning, were trading at $106.72 at midday in New York on Thursday, down 1.3%. (TheMarker Staff).
Israel Bonds sales surged during Gaza war
Sales of Israel Bonds shot up during last summer’s Gaza war, Bloomberg News reported this week. While the fighting with Hamas was raging in July and August, the Development Corporation for Israel – the state-owned company that markets the debt securities – sold $270 million of the bonds, up from an average of $150 million during the same months in 2010 to 2013, Bloomberg said. CEO Izzy Tapoohi, who has headed the organization since 2011, used the image of the iconic Israeli military leader Moshe Dayan on its Facebook page, as part of the campaign. “When there’s a crisis, you apply the Jewish heart,” he told Bloomberg, calling the higher sales a rebuttal to the global boycott, sanctions and divestment movement. “But otherwise it’s strictly business.” (TheMarker Staff)
Shares end strong week on mixed note
Tel Aviv shares ended mixed on Thursday, marking a flabby end to an otherwise strong week that saw the main shares indices rise between 1.5% and 2%. On Thursday, however, the benchmark TA-25 eked out a gain of just 0.01% to end at 1,451.11 points while the TA-100 sagged 0.3% to finish at 1,296.41, all on turnover of 1.13 billion shekels ($300 million). Perion Network jumped 16.4% to close at 23.31 shekels after it turned in a 50% increase in third-quarter net profit, compared with a year ago. But LivePerson plunged 14.5% to a 45.34-shekel closing a day after it reported a surprise third-quarter loss of $1.1 million. Ormat Industries advanced 2.3% to 26.16 shekels after its Ormat Technologies unit boosted quarterly net 27.5% to $16.5 million. Other big movers were IDB Development, which rose 2.7% to 4.44 shekels, and Allot Communications, which plunged for a second day in a row, losing 6.5% to 37.81.(Dror Reich)