Business in Brief: Teva Pushes Back Completion of Allergan Deal to June

Cellcom Israel profit plunged in Q4 amid intense competition; Adama narrowed loss in Q4 as sales fell; Perion Network net tumbles by two thirds; Tel Aviv shares surrender early gains.

Trucks drive in front of Teva Pharmaceutical Logistic Center in the town of Shoam, Israel.
AP

Teva pushes back completion of Allergan deal to June

Teva Pharmaceuticals is encountering bigger problems that it anticipated completing its $40.5 billion acquisition of the generic drug activities of Allergan, saying Tuesday it now expects the deal to be completed by June. The world’s biggest generic drug maker had said in the past that it expected the acquisition would close by the end of the first quarter or possibly April at the latest. Last week it received regulatory approval from the European Commission for its acquisition, subject to certain divestitures, but is still awaiting approval from the United States Federal Trade Commission. “Teva now anticipates that completing the acquisition could take as long as June 2016, based upon its current estimate of the timing to obtain clearance from the U.S. FTC,” the company said. Shares of Teva, whose agreement with Allergan imposes a $1 billion penalty if it fails to get regulatory approvals, ended down 3.3% at 221.80 shekels ($56.92). (Yoram Gabison)

Cellcom Israel profit plunged in Q4 amid intense competition

Cellcom, Israel’s largest mobile phone operator, on Tuesday reported a steeper-than-expected 66% drop in quarterly profit as fierce competition cut into revenues. Cellcom said it earned 19 million shekels ($4.9 million) in the fourth quarter, down from 55 million a year earlier. Revenue slipped 8.2% to 1.05 billion shekels as mobile rates fell in the face of intense competition. Analysts surveyed by Reuters predicted that Cellcom would earn 29 million shekels on revenue of 1.03 billion shekels. The company’s mobile subscriber base fell 4.4% in 2015 to 2.835 million, but said it was partly offset by equipment sales and its new TV service, which now counts more than 70,000 subscribers. “We expect the level of competition in the market as characterized in 2015 to continue at the same pace in the coming quarters,” Chief Financial Officer Shlomi Fruhling warned. Nevertheless, Cellcom shares rose 4.8% to finish at 23.57 shekels. (TheMarker Staff)

Adama narrowed loss in Q4 as sales fell

Adama, the world’s largest maker of generic crop-protection products, narrowed its fourth-quarter loss on higher volume sales and lower operating expenses. Adama’s net loss of $20 million in the fourth quarter, which tends to be negative due for seasonal reasons, compared with a loss of $33 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 3.6% to $650 million although it showed a 12.6% rise excluding the impact of exchange rates. A significant increase in sales from geographical expansion and from new products led to a 7% increase in volumes in the quarter, said the company, which is 60%-owned by China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) and the rest by Israel’s Discount Investment Corporation. Adama said it launched direct sales in China at the start of 2016 and that a formulation and packaging plant in the city of Huai’an is expected to come on stream at the end of the year. (Reuters)

Perion Network net tumbles by two thirds

Perion Network, which provides tools for Internet searches, saw fourth-quarter earnings plunge by two thirds from a year ago on declining revenues. The company said day that net profit, after discounting certain items, fell to $7.4 million in the quarter, or 10 cents a share, from $19.95 million, or 27 cents, a year ago. Revenues were down 17% to $65.3 million, it said. “Search revenues have stabilized, and we expect that trend to continue through 2016,” said CEO Josef Mandelbaum. “We have also significantly strengthened the company by diversifying our revenue with the acquisitions of Undertone and MakeMeReach, which will represent close to 50% of total revenue in 2016.” Perion shares ended down 4.3% to close at 9.23 shekels ($2.37). (TheMarker Staff) 

Tel Aviv shares surrender early gains 

Tel Aviv shares surrendered early gains Tuesday to end lower in tepid trading of 1.2 billion shekels ($310 million). The TA-25 index ended down 0.3% at 1,483.36 points and the TA-100 lost 0.55% to 1,270.80. The TA-25 was weighed down by drops in Teva Pharmaceuticals as well as in Perrigo, which fell 1.9% to 531.70 and Delek Group, which lost 1.75% to 650.40. Biotech shares were led lower by a 12.6% plunge in Mannkind shares to 4.87 shekels. Property & Building Limited declined 1.6% to close at 267.40 shekels, even though it reported Tuesday that net operating income rose 6% in 2015 to 623 million shekels. Gainers for the day included Partner Communications, which finished 4.2% up at 16.88, and Nice Systems, which added 1.8% to 238.90. In currency trading, the dollar and the euro both gained more than 0.3% on the shekel to Bank of Israel rates of 3.891 and 4.326 shekels, respectively. (Uri Tomer)