Teva Shares Rally on News Buffett More Than Doubled Holdings as of March 31

Business in Brief | IDB bonds plunge on concerns about Elsztain Argentinian businesses ■ Ormat discounts concerned Hawaii volcano endangers its power plant ■ DarioHealth eyeing dual listing on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

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

Teva shares rally on news Buffett more than doubled holdings as of March 31 

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway on Tuesday said it has more than doubled its investment in Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals and confirmed it has become Apple’ second-largest shareholder. In a regulatory filing detailing Berkshire’s U.S.-listed stock holdings as of March 31. Berkshire said it owned about 40.5 million Teva American depositary receipts worth about $693 million as of that date, up from 18.9 million ADRs three months earlier. Teva’s share price rose 5.1% in after-hours trading on Tuesday and another 3.8% on Wednesday to $20.28 at late morning local time in New York. Stocks often rise in price when Berkshire reveals new or increased stakes. Larger stock investments are normally made by Buffett, while smaller bets come from his investment managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. The filing does not say who bought which stocks. Berkshire owned about $173 billion of equities, as well as dozens of businesses in the railroad, insurance, energy, chemical, food and retail and other sectors. (Reuters)

IDB bonds plunge on concerns about Elsztain Argentinian businesses

IDB Development bonds slid on Wednesday amid concerns about the holding group’s controlling shareholder, the Argentinean property magnate Eduardo Elsztain. The worries emerged as Argentinian peso currency hit a record low on Monday after weakening some 15% since May 3. Weak fundamentals, skittishness regarding devaluation and concern over Argentina’s drought-hit soy harvest have helped put the economy and the peso under pressure and last week drove the government to ask for help from the International Monetary Fund. Investors are concerned that the country’s woes will hurt Elsztain’s Argentinian holding company IRSA and his ability to provide financial support to the IDB group in Israel if the need arises. ISRA carries considerable dollar debt while its revenues are in pesos, and its market capitalization has fallen by more than a third since the start of the year. IDB’s Series Tet bonds for 4.25 years ended down 6.8% and its Series Yud-Delat bonds down 4.15%. (Guy Erez)

Ormat discounts concerned Hawaii volcano endangers its power plant

Ormat Technologies shares fell sharply on Wednesday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange despite assurances from the company that its Hawaiian geothermal power station was not endangered by the Kilauea volcano. “Currently there is no physical damage to the Puna facilities above ground, however, we will be able to assess the impact of the volcanic eruption on the Puna geothermal wells only after the situation stabilizes,” said CEO Isaac Angel. “We expect to restore the Puna operations as soon as it is safe to do so.” The company said local geography suggested that lava flows would not reach the station, which has been shut down. Nevertheless, Ormat conceded that the eruption was still evolving and that additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues, and seismic activity remains elevated in the area, it said. The 38-megawatt plant accounts for about 4.5% of Ormat’s total generating capacity. Ormat shares finished down 2.6% at 188.50 shekels ($52.57). (Yoram Gabison)

DarioHealth eyeing dual listing on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

DarioHealth, whose technology lets diabetes sufferers monitor their health via a smartphone, wants to dual-list its shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The company conducted an initial public offering at a $35 million valuation on the Nasdaq two years ago, but CEO Erez Raphael told TheMarker that he see advantages in a TASE listing as well. “We’re still not a company with a billion dollar market cap, so the attention we can get in Israel will be relatively high,” he said. The company’s flagship product, MyDario, is a personalized diabetes management system that comprises a Smart Glucose Meter synced with a mobile app. Founded in 2010, the company is still burning cash. On Tuesday it reported a 74% increase in first-quarter revenue to $1.76 million, but a net loss of $2.92 million. It expects revenue growth of 60%-80% this year. DarioHealth shares were trading up 2.3% at $1.76 late morning local time in New York. (Eran Azran) 

TA-35 index marks sixth straight day of gains

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-35 marked its sixth straight session of gains on Wednesday as it crossed the 1,500 line for the first time in nearly two months. The benchmark index finished the day up 0.7% at 1,502.42 points, while the TA-125 rose 0.6% to 1,352.73, on turnover of 1.2 billion shekels ($330 million). Insurance shares were up strongly, paced by a 4% gain for Phoenix to 19.06 shekels and a 3.2% rise for Harel to 26.30. Azrieli Group rose 2.5% to 168.20 after it said net operating income, which reflects the group’s core business, rose 10 percent to 371 million shekels. Oil Refineries dropped 1.9% to 1.57 after saying it earned $74 million in the third quarter, up from $19 million a year earlier. Volume leader Frutarom was down 1.4% by close to 343. In foreign currency trading, the euro weakened a sharp 1.3% to a representative rate of 4.2353 shekels. (Jasmin Gueta)