Business in Brief: Nice System Shares Rally on Strong Earnings Report

Clal Insurance warns of second-quarter loss that could reach NIS 320 million; Tel Aviv shares mark their fourth day of declines.

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

Nice System shares rally on strong earnings report

Nice Systems on Thursday reported a 23% jump rise in second-quarter profit, beating analysts’ expectations and pushing its shares sharply higher. The company said net profit reached $47.9 million, or 79 cents a share, excluding one-off items, up from $39.5 million, or 64 cents, a year earlier. Revenue grew 9% to $235.4 million. Analysts had expected adjusted EPS of 75 cents on revenue of $234.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. “Our analytics solutions continue to be the driver of overall growth as an increasing number of our customers are rapidly applying our analytics to a greater amount of use cases,” said CEO Barak Eilam. Nice forecasted third-quarter revenue of $234 million to $244 million, and diluted earnings ex-items of 78-84 cents a share. For all of 2016, it said revenue would reach as much as $1.015 billion and EPS would be in the range of $3.48-$3.58 a share. Nice shares closed up 6.9% at 264 shekels ($69.09). (Omri Zerachovitz)

Clal Insurance warns of second-quarter loss that could reach NIS 320 million

Clal Insurance warned on Thursday it expected to post a second-quarter loss of between 180 million and 320 million shekels ($47 million-$83.7 million) due to low interest rates. The insurers reported the forecast loss, which would follow a 232 million loss in the first quarter, because its parent company, IDB Development Corporation, filed a shelf statement to sell its Clal shares under orders from government regulators in blocks of 5%. Clal also warned that it would not meet new Solvency II capital adequacy guidelines by the end of this year unless the interest rate environment improved considerably. The warning came a day after Ben Askenazi, who owns the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team, informed IDB that his offer to buy its Clal stake had expired, although the two sides will continue negotiating alternative terms. Ashkenazi had offered to buy IBD’s 55% stake at a 2.85 billion-shekel valuation. Clal shares ended down 2.8% at 42.12 shekels. (Shelly Appelberg)

Tel Aviv shares mark their fourth day of declines

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange turned lower in early Thursday afternoon Thursday to mark its fourth day of declines, led by financial stocks. The TA-25 index ended down 0.45% at 1,45.07 points, while the TA-100 fell 0.5%to 1,267.26, on turnover of 1.44 billion shekels ($380 million). Bank shares were led lower by a 2.1% in Mizrahi Tefahot to 45.88 shekels and a 1.9% drop in Leumi to 13.64.  Bank Hapoalim dropped 1.4% to 1937 and Israel Discount Bank 1.6% to 6.55 shekels. LivePerson ended down 16% at 25 shekels after reported a bigger-than-expected loss for the second quarter and downgraded its outlook for the year. Energy and biomed shares were the only sectors to show gains, with Mazor Robotics up 3.7% to 38.87. Plasson also gained 3.7% to 109.50, two days after it said it was buying a Brazilian company. In foreign currency trading, the euro gained 0.5% to a Bank of Israel rate of 4.2442 shekels, but the dollar declined to just 3.8280 shekels (Uri Tomer)