The Ticker / Israel Chemicals’ Second-quarter Results Are Dented by Strike

CyberArk earnings surge in second quarter; acquisitions boost Adama’s China sales; Tel Aviv stocks fall on worries over China currency depreciation.

Ofer Vaknin

Israel Chemicals’ second-quarter results are dented by strike

Israel Chemicals, which extracts minerals from the Dead Sea, reported on Wednesday a smaller-than-expected rise in quarterly profit after a strike sent revenue down 22%. ICL earned $75 million in the second quarter, up from $68 million a year earlier, but revenue dipped to $1.2 billion from $1.54 billion. The company, one of the three largest suppliers of the crop nutrient potash to China, India and Europe, was expected to make a net profit of $86 million on revenue of $1.26 billion, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

A four-month strike earlier this year protesting planned layoffs at ICL’s bromine and potash plants wiped $253 million off sales and $112 million from net profit in the quarter, ICL said, but it added that the impact was less than it had anticipated. Potash production has resumed to pre-strike levels and sales will return to normal in the third quarter, it said. ICL shares edged up less tha 0.1% to a close of 24.89 shekels ($6.53). (Reuters)

CyberArk earnings surge in second quarter

CyberArk, the network-security company that went public nearly a year ago, reported even sharper increases in profit and sales for the second quarter than market analysts had expected. The company said adjusted net income per share was $6.55 million, or 19 cents a share, up from $2.45 million, or 9 cents, a year ago. Revenue was up 70% year-over-year to $36.4 million.

That put CyberArk way ahead of the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research for earnings of 6 cents a share on revenues of $32.3 million. Looking to full-year 2015, the company said revenue would be in the range of $145 million to $147million, while adjusted net income would be between 62 and 65 cents. Separately, CyberArk said it had bought the tiny Israeli startup Cybertinel for an undisclosed sum. CyberArk shares were down 4.2% at $56.45 late morning local time in New York. (TheMarker Staff).

Acquisitions boost Adama’s China sales

Adama, the closely held agro-chemicals company, expects a tough 2016 for itself and for the industry, but has big hopes for the China markets, its CEO, Chen Lichtenstein, told TheMarker. Plans to buy three Chinese affiliates of its parent company China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) are moving forward, which will enable Adama to begin direct China sales as early as first-quarter 2016. Currently, Chinese sales are just $10 million.

The company is also looking at troubled agro-chemical companies as candidates for mergers and acquisitions, he said. Adama, which is 40%-owned by the IDB group, saw net profit drop 13.5% year-on-year in the second quarter to $51 million as sales edged down 2.8% to $851 million, due to sagging world commodities prices, a strong dollar and unfavorable weather conditions. Still, Lichtenstein noted, first half sales were down 3.8%, far less than for rivals like Bayer and Monsanto.(Yoram Gabison)

Tel Aviv stocks fall on worries over China currency depreciation

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange joined a global share market downturn on Wednesday as China weakened its currency further, increasing worries about a global economic slowdown. The TA-25 and TA-100 indices both lost about 0.6% to 1,700.38 and 1,478.10 points respectively, on turnover of 1.44 billion shekels ($380 million.) Tech shares were the hardest hit, with Perion Network down 5.3% to 10.01 shekels, TowerJazz off 4% to 52.93 and Allot Communications down 3.8% to 18.47.

But earnings reports lifted a few shares sharply, most notably EZchip, which jumped 10.8% after turning in a 28% increase in second-quarter revenue and Matrix, which added 4.8% to 23.47 on a 17% revenue rise in the quarter. In the fixed-income market, the government’s 10-year Shahar bond rose 0.58% to cut its yield to 2.25%. The shekel held steady against the dollar, but the euro strengthen almost 0.9% to a Bank of Israel rate of 4.2511.(Shelly Appelberg)