Teva Rides Roughshod on Tel Aviv Stocks

Business in Brief | OPC raises $115 million in IPO ■ Nice boosts quarterly profit, raises outlook ■ Israel Chemicals profit hit by low potash prices, higher taxes

FILE PHOTO: An employee of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries wears a shirt bearing the company's logo at its Jerusalem oral solid dosage plant (OSD) December 21, 2011. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD - SEARCH GLOBAL BUSINESS 8 MAY FOR ALL IMAGES
Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS

Israel Chemicals profit hit by low potash prices, higher taxes

Israel Chemicals reported on Thursday a drop in second-quarter net profit it attributed to lower potash prices and higher tax payments. ICL, which is the world’s sixth-largest potash producer, posted net income of $57 million, down from $120 million a year earlier, and below analysts’ average forecast of $90.8 million. Hurt by a decline in selling prices and shipments of potash, mainly to Europe, revenue fell to $1.32 billion from $1.38 billion. “We ... see stabilization in spot potash market prices, supported by the recent price increase for Chinese potash contracts,” said acting CEO Asher Grinbaum. ICL this week signed contracts to supply 925,000 metric tons of potash this year to Chinese customers at prices in line with recent contract prices in the country. ICL said it paid an effective tax rate of about 43% in the quarter, higher than in previous years after Israel raised taxes in the sector. ICL shares ended down 2.2% at 16.60 shekels ($4.61). (Reuters)

Nice boosts quarterly profit, raises outlook

Nice Systems, the maker of systems for managing call centers, boosted second-quarter earnings 17% from a year earlier and raised forecast profit for the third quarter. Nice on Thursday reported earnings of $56 million, or 90 cents per diluted share excluding one-time items, up from $47.9 million, or 79 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose by a third to $315.3 million helped by its acquisition at the end of last year of InContact, a maker of call center software using cloud technology; without it, revenues would have been up just 5.3%. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected earnings of 87 cents a share on revenue of $313.9 million. For the third quarter, Nice raised its forecast for revenue to between $315 million and $325 million. It said adjusted EPS would be 89 cents to 95 cents. It reiterated its 2017 revenue forecast of $1.33-$1.35 billion. Nice shares ended 3.25% higher at 276 shekels ($76.69). (Omri Zerachovitz)

OPC raises $115 million in IPO

OPC, the Israel electric-power unit of Idan Ofer’s Kenon Holdings, raised $115 million in the institutional tranche of an initial public offering late on Wednesday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. That was not only $15 million more than the company had planned to raised but the shares were sold at a company valuation of $383 million, $28 million more than it had planned, after institutional investors put up offers for shares twice the number on offer. The results were a pleasant surprise for Kenon, which had to pull an IPO from OPC’s parent company, due to lack of interest from investors. The company expects to raise another 80 million shekels ($22.2 million) in the next few days from the public tranche of the offering. The proceeds from the OPC IPO will enable IC Power to repay $145 million in debt to Kenon, whose shares ended 5.25% up at 51.52 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Teva rides roughshod on Tel Aviv stocks

Teva Pharmaceuticals pushed Tel Aviv shares sharply lower on Thursday after it reported a big drop in quarterly profit (see story on page 15). Other generic drug makers traded in Tel Aviv lost big as well amid fears of what Teva’s results mean for the industry. Mylan dropped 5.9% to 126.70 shekels and Perrigo lost 4.8% to 251.50. The blue chip TA-35 index finished the day down 1.5% at 1,417.24 points, while the TA-125 shed almost 1% to 1,277.62, in heavy trading of 3.56 billion shekels ($990 million). The government’s 10-year Galil bond declined 0.43% to raise its yield to 0.46%.  TowerJazz dropped 3.3% to 90.21 despite reporting a more than 20% rise in second-quarter net profits. Perion Network fell 4.4% to 5.77 after it said it took a $44 million charge on its Undertone unit it acquired in 2015, leaving it with a second-quarter loss. SodaStream extended a rally based on strong quarterly results, ending up 6.4% at 208.80. (Omri Zerachovitz)