SodaStream Recalls Bottles Over Concerns They May Explode

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An employee packages carbon dioxide (CO2) cylinders at the SodaStream International Ltd. factory in Mishor Adumim, near Jerusalem, Israel, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011.
An employee packages carbon dioxide (CO2) cylinders at the SodaStream International Ltd. factory in Mishor Adumim, near Jerusalem, Israel, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011.Credit: Bloomberg

Mobileye turns in 42% rise in quarterly net 

Mobileye, the maker of collision-prevention technology, on Wednesday reported a 42% increase in fourth-quarter net profit from a year ago, coming in ahead of analysts’ forecasts. Earnings, adjusted for stock option expense, came to $51.4 million or 22 cents a share, up from $36.3 million, or 15 cents, the same time in 2015. That put Mobileye ahead of the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research for earnings of 20 cents a share and revenues of $96.3 million. CEO Ziv Aviram called the results a “strong finish” to the year, pointing to 12 new cooperative programs with 11 automakers, including  10 self-driving car initiatives, over the course of 2016.  A day earlier, Mobileye and German automaker BMW said they signed an agreement to install Mobileye’s data generation technology in BMW cars starting with 2018 models. Shares of Mobileye were up 2.4% at $47.23 late morning local time in New York. (TheMarker Staff)  

SodaStream recalls bottles over concerns they may explode

SodaStream, the maker of home carbonation devices, is recalling about 58,000 of the reusable bottles it sells with the machine in the United States and Canada, citing the risk that they could explode when being filled.  “The bottles can burst under pressure, posing an injury hazard to the user or bystanders,” the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission said on its website late on Tuesday. Only about 51,000 bottles in the U.S. and another 7,600 in Canada with the expiration date of 4/2020 are included in the recall, the CPSC said, urging consumers not to use those bottles and to contact the company for a refund. The one-liter bottles with blue tops and bases were sold in Walmart, Target and Bad, Bath & Beyond stores. SodaStream doesn’t disclose how many bottles it sells annually, but the figure is believed to be in the tens of millions. SodaStream shares, which had fallen on the news Tuesday, were up 1.2% at $47.24 mid-day local time Wednesday. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Super-Sol boosts profits in quarter despite declining sales

Super-Sol, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, said on Wednesday its net profit was up nearly 25% in the fourth quarter amid softening competition in the grocery markets and efficiency measures taken by the company. The company posted net profit of 96 million shekels ($25.9 million), up from 77 million shekels a year earlier even though revenue slipped 1.9% to 2.87 billion shekels. Same-store sales in the quarter dropped 2.4%, a decline the food retailer ascribed to the timing of the High Holiday in 2016 versus 2015. Super-Sol also attributed the improved results on the bottom line to increased sales of private-label products that now account for more than a fifth of all sales at the end of last year, up from 15% a year earlier. The company also said its board of directors approved entering negotiations to buy drug store chain New-Pharm from Hamashbir 365 Holdings. Super-Sol shares ended up 4.1% at 16.40 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Shares end lower, weighted down by Teva  Pharmaceuticals, energy stocks

Tel Aviv shares ended lower on Wednesday, weighed down by Teva Pharmaceuticals and energy stocks. The dollar gained fractionally on the shekel, but the euro extended its losses, weakening almost 0.3% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.8954 shekels.  The blue chip TA-35 index ended 0.45% lower at 1,447.80 points, while the TA-125 lost 0.1% to 1,289.45, on turnover of 1.68 billion shekels ($450 million). Teva dropped 2.1% to close at 1.34.60 shekels while energy stocks were led lower by Delek Drilling’s 2.3% decline to 12.87 and Ratio’s 1.1% drop to 2.75. BioTime led TA-100 stocks higher on a 4.6% gain to 11.93 after it said it would post a non-cash gain of about $56 million for the quarter after deconsolidating its OncoCyte unit. Insurer Phoenix finished down 0.5% at 14.80 even though it reported it expected to earn an after-tax profit for the fourth quarter of between 300 million and 400 millions shekels. (Shelly Appleberg)

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