Business in Brief: Israel's Zim Reportedly Seeking to Sell Most Operations

| Teva shares gain after big loss on U.S. probe | Imperva says it will remain independent | Tel Aviv shares gain for first time in 9 days.

Bloomberg

Report: Israel's Zim seeking to sell most operations

Zim Integrated Shipping Services, Israel’s biggest shipping company, is exploring selling its global container network and becoming a regional Mediterranean carrier, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Citing unnamed sources, the financial daily said Zim was looking to sell its ships and customer lists for its Asia-U.S., Asia-Mediterranean and Mediterranean-U.S. routes.

“Zim is on the market,” one of the sources said. “Their bankers are traveling around the world with a sale prospectus, tapping interest from global shipping majors and other investors.” Zim denied the report.

“We have been a global player for the past few decades and we have no intentions whatsoever to stop [providing] world-wide services to clients,” a spokesman said. Zim, which is 32% owned by Idan Ofer’s Kenon Holdings after a debt bailout, has been hit hard by the global shipping slump and lost $133 million in the first half of the year. Shares of Kenon rose 0.45% to 37.68 shekels ($9.95). (Yoram Gabison)

Teva's headquarters in Jerusalem.
Bloomberg

Teva shares gain after big loss on U.S. probe

Shares of Teva Pharmaceuticals recovered in New York on Friday and their drop in Tel Aviv on Sunday was relatively moderate after analysts said concerns about a U.S. Justice Department probe into price collusion in the generic-drug industry were overwrought.

TheStreet quoted Credit Suisse’s Vamil Divan as saying the sell-off of Teva stock was “likely an overreaction, although we acknowledge the investigation will likely be an overhang on Teva and the generics space until we have more clarity on the outcome and understand any potential financial or criminal penalties that may be imposed.”

Bank of Jerusalem analyst Jonathan Kreizman said he believed investigators had not confiscated computers from Teva, as they had from other companies named in the probe, which suggested that whatever allegations there were against the company were less severe. He said investors should be more concerned about industry reforms that Hillary Clinton would pursue if elected president.

After dropping more than 9% on Thursday on a Bloomberg report about the probe, Teva shares ended up 2.65% at $4024 on Friday. In Tel Aviv, they ended down 4.4% at 153.30 shekels ($40.46). (TheMarker Staff)

Imperva says it will remain independent

Four months after it said it was exploring “strategic options,” Imperva said on Friday its board had decided against putting the U.S. cybersecurity company up for sale. The company, whose biggest shareholder is Israeli Shlomo Kramer, said the board had “determined that continuing to grow Imperva as a standalone company provides the best means for creating value and is in the best interests of stockholders.”

The decision was announced at the same time Imperva showed better-than-expected sales and earnings for the third quarter. Earnings, adjusted for stock option expense and nonrecurring costs, were $2.5 million, or 8 cents a share, while revenues were $68.4 million. While adjusted profit was down year on year from 19 cents, analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research had predicted a loss of 16 cents. Revenues were up more than 8% from a year ago and ahead of the $63.1 million forecast by Zacks analysts. Imperva shares closed up 1.3% at $35.55 in New York. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Tel Aviv shares gain for first time in 9 days

Tel Aviv shares rose for the first time in nine trading days on Sunday, led by telecommunication and energy shares. The blue chip TA-25 index ended 0.5% to at 1,395.01 points, while the TA-100 gained 0.2% to 1,216.77, on turnover of 788 million shekels ($208 million).

Bezeq led telecoms on a 1.6% gain to 7 shekels and Delek Drilling topped energy stocks with a rise of 2.7% to 13.42. Among top gainers in the TA-100 were Opko Health on a 4.2% rise to 37.64 and the Israel Corporation’s 3.7% gain to 589. Halman Aldubi Investment House recommended Sunday raising their exposure to Israeli stocks at the expense of overseas shares, saying local equities were priced more attractively and Israeli corporate profits would be stronger. Among the biggest losers, Mylan declined 4.1% to 134.20 and SodaStream 3.1% to 40.70. (Shelly Appelberg)