Teva CEO Still Bullish About Key Migraine Drug’s Prospects

Business in Brief: Delta in deal to buy French marker of men’s underwear ■ Short Trade investors’ money lost in medical-cannabis stock, court is told ■ CyberArk beats expectations for quarterly earnings

A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building in Jerusalem, December 14, 2017.
\ Ammar Awad/ REUTERS

Teva CEO still bullish about key migraine drug’s prospects

Teva Pharmaceuticals CEO Kare Schultz remains optimistic about its branded migraine treatment even though regulatory problems are likely to delay its launch until the end of 2018. “Whether it will be us or Lilly who is second or third, I think it is probably going to be a close race. It’s hard to say right now,” he said. The company is counting on fremanezumab for a sales boost, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve the company manufacturing the drug for Teva, which risks putting it behind Amgen and Eli Lilly in bringing new treatments to the market. Schultz said fremanezumab will likely have a list price of around $10,000 a year, similar to competitors. “We do have one key benefit and that is the fact that our product will most likely be approved for one quarterly injection,” he told analysts in a conference call. Teva shares ended down 5.5% at 64.84 shekels ($17.93). (Reuters) 

Delta in deal to buy French marker of men’s underwear

Israel’s Delta Galil is on its way to becoming a leader in the French market for men’s underwear. Under an agreement announced on Sunday, it will be buying the Eminence Group for 125 million euros ($149.7 million) from Boxer Holding subject to approvals. Those include getting approval from the French government to sell the company as well as from Eminence and Boxer Holding employees, who have right of first refusal to buy the Boxer Holding stock. If the sellers clear those obstacles, which Delta said should be by the third quarter, Eminence will then exercise a put option to sell the shares to Delta. With 2017 sales of 99 million euros, Eminence is the top seller of men’s underwear in France at the top end of the market, as it sells more mass market products under the Athena name and has a presence in Italy through its Liabel unit. Delta shares finished up 9.5% at 111.70 shekels ($30.89). (Eran Azran)

Short Trade investors’ money lost in medical-cannabis stock, court is told

Where did tens of millions of shekels in money placed by small investors with a company called Short Trade go? Up in smoke, according to Amit Pines, one of the lawyers named temporary receiver for the firm over the weekend by the Tel Aviv District Court. Thousands of small investors put money with Short Trade in the expectation that they would be playing the U.S. share market, but Pines told the court on Sunday that a group of clients invested in an initial public offering of a local medical-marijuana company last September. While the shares rose sharply after the IPO, turnover was too thin to make trades and so even though the investors were issuing buy and sell orders and made paper profits of $11 million, there were in fact no profits to pay them with. Instead, Short Trade took money from other counts in the hope of eventually recovering the debt. Pines estimated Short Trade’s debt at $10.5 million. (Jasmin Gueta)

CyberArk beats expectations for quarterly earnings

CyberArk, the Israeli maker of cybersecurity tools for protecting employee accounts on computer networks, posted first-quarter results ahead of expectations. The company said its adjusted net income was up 14% from a year ago to $11.8 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, as revenue climbed 22% to $71.8 million. Both benchmarks were well ahead of the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, which was for earnings of 21 cents and revenues of $69.3 million. For the current quarter, CyberArk said it expected its per-share earnings to range from 23 cents to 25 cents and revenue from $72 million to $73.5 million, in line with Wall Street expectations. “Hackers are innovating at the speed of light speed and organizations require protection against major attack sectors, such as the exploitation of cryptocurrency, the evolution of ransomware, and the tax on critical infrastructure,” said CEO Udi Mokady point. CyberArk shares ended up 4.5% to $57.57 on Friday in New York. (Yoram Gabison)

Tech shares lead Tel Aviv Stock Exchange higher

Tech shares led the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange higher on Sunday. The benchmark TA-35 index climbed 0.5% to close at 1,476.13 points, while the TA-125 rose 0.6% to 1,336.33, on turnover of 456 million shekels ($126 million). Leading tech shares higher, LivePerson jumped 9.3% to 64.89 after it raised in EBITDA guidance is increasing by $2 million to as much as $25 million for 2018. Ormat Technologies added 3.4% to 215.60 and TowerJazz 2.95% to 98.52. Navitas Petroleum rose 2.65% to 8.76 after reporting on Sunday that its Shenandoah oil field in the Gulf of Mexico had estimated reserves of 155 million barrels. Frutarom added 3.8% to 346 Biotech stock IceCure soared more than 137% to 1.03 after reporting that early clinical trials shows excellent results at removing breast tumors for its IceSense3 treatment. Losers included Kenon Holdings, with a 1.8% decline to 55.85, and El Al Airlines, down 1.3% to 1.01. (Eran Azran)