Business in Brief: Leumi Expected to Turn in Strong Third-quarter Results From One-time Factors

Cellcom goes ahead with $129 million bond offer; Teva reports encouraging results for tardive dyskinesia treatment; Imperva shares jump on report of several companies weighing takeover; Tel Aviv shares edge higher in light trading.

Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv.
Bloomberg

Leumi expected to turn in strong third-quarter results from one-time factors

Bank Leumi is likely to show strong results in the third quarter due to a big improvement in the performance of its retail banking operations as well as one-time factors, banking sources said Sunday. One-time factors alone could amount to between 300 million and 500 million shekels ($79.8 million-$133 million). They include $66 million of a $92 million insurance payout the bank will be getting for the quarter connected with its U.S. tax-evasion case. The payment was made possible after a Tel Aviv court approved the terms of a settlement two weeks ago, ending a lawsuit taken out against the bank in connection with the affair. Another major source of one-time gains comes from the sale of a major part of its government-bond portfolio at peak prices. In addition, Leumi sold shares Sunday in Avgol, a maker of nonwoven fabrics, which should yield a 25 million-shekel gain for the quarter. Shares of Leumi, which climbed 7.1% so far this year, were down almost 1% Sunday at 14.46 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Cellcom goes ahead with 485 million-shekel bond offer

Cellcom Israel completed on Thursday the institutional tranche of a projected 485 million-shekel ($129 million) bond issue after an eight-day delay. Institutions put in orders of 1.2 billion shekels for the 400 million of debt on offer, which was rated A-plus by Standard & Poor’s Maalot. For the Yud-Aleph debt with a term of 6.45 years, the interest rate was set at 3.55%. For the Yud series of 6.75 years the rate was set at 2.45% linked to inflation. Without explanation, Cellcom pulled the issue just as it was getting underway, but speculation was it was due to talks it announced shortly afterwards with two groups vying to buy Golan Telecom, both of whom were seeking a network-sharing agreement with Cellcom and a mechanism for repaying Golan’s 600 million shekels in debt to it. A day later, one of the two dropped, narrowing the chance of a deal being signed. Cellcom shares fell 2.8% to 28.37 after it said it was reviving a 475 million-shekel bond sale. (Michael Rochvarger)

Teva reports encouraging results for tardive dyskinesia treatment

Teva Pharmaceuticals reported over the weekend that its SD-809 drug showed statistically significant results in Phase III trials for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia. That could means a treatment on the market as soon as the second half of next year for the 500,000 sufferers in America of TD, a disorder characterized by repetitive and uncontrollable movements caused by medications for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disease, among others. There are currently no approved medications for it in the U.S. Teva said it expected to make a regulatory submission to the U.S. by the end of 2016. The results are the third in a string of positive news coming from Teva. Last Monday reported encouraging results from a trial of its pridopidine treatment for Huntington disease. A day later it said it had agreed to develop and commercialize Regeneron’s fasinuma treatment for osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain at a cost of $700 million and split revenues. Teva shares ended up 0.3% at 192 shekels ($51.04). (Uri Tomer)

Imperva shares jump on report of several companies weighing takeover

Shares of Imperva, the cyber-security company founded by Israeli investors led by serial entrepreneur Shlomo Kramer, rallied on Friday after Bloomberg News said several companies were interested in acquiring it. Citing unidentified sources, it said the company, which is headquartered in California and conducts research and development in Israel, was being eyed by Cisco Systems and IBM. Forcepoint, Akamai Technologies and Fortinet had also held discussions with Imperva, Bloomberg reported. In July, Imperva reportedly hired Qatalyst Partners to explore a sale after receiving takeover interest, which has a market cap of $1.7 billion after Friday’s run-up. As of Friday, none of the companies involved was willing to comment, but one source said a concrete offer would likely be made within two weeks. Shares of Imperva jumped more than 21% to close at $52.56 on the New York Stock Exchange, although that still leaves them down nearly 17% so far this year. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Tel Aviv shares edge higher in light trading

Tel Aviv shares ended almost unchanged Sunday in light trading. The blue chip TA-25 index edged 0.08% higher to 1,462.76 points, while the TA-100 added 0.1% to 1,282.94, on turnover of 523 million shekels ($139 million). Avgol was the volume leader, falling 4.1% to 4.67 shekels after Bank Leumi sold a 5% bloc of shares. Shares rallied on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled there would be no interest rate rises till the end of the year, and the investment house Halman-Aldubi over the weekend said further gains were likely to be in store and that investors should increase their weighting in the Israeli share market. “This is due to the pricing differential between the Israeli market and the main overseas markets and expectations for higher profits and better performance by Israeli firms versus foreign ones,” it said. Arbitrage trading lifted Opko Health 3.4% to 41.51 and Perrigo by 1.7% to 363.30. (Omri Zerachovitz)