The Ticker: JEC Narrows Quarterly Loss From a Year Ago

Delek reports fourth-quarter profit, avoids big write-down on Phoenix; Gazit-Globe moves into a quarterly profit.

David Bachar

JEC narrows quarterly loss from a year ago

Jerusalem Economy Corporation, the property company whose Russian assets have saddled it with heavy losses, yesterday turned in a 307-million-shekel ($81.6-million) loss attributable to shareholders for the fourth quarter, down from 375 million shekels a year ago. Despite the narrower loss, 2015 was a stormy year for JEC, with Eliezer Fishman losing control of the company to creditors and full-year losses widening to 592 million shekels, from 304 million shekels in 2014. Net operating income for the year slipped 9% to 949 million shekels after JEC sold properties in Germany, Canada and France. CEO David Zvida said the company had sold 2.9 billion shekels of assets since 2012 to pay down debt, and planned to continue the process. “We see ourselves at obligated to continue reducing the group’s leverage by selling assets,” he said. Shares of JEC, whose biggest shareholder now is Summit real Estate, ended 5.5% higher at 6.97 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger) 

Delek reports fourth-quarter profit, avoids big write-down on Phoenix

Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group said yesterday it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, boosted by higher natural gas sales and finance income. Net profit reached 36 million shekels ($9.5 million), compared with a loss of 120 million shekels a year earlier. Revenue fell to 1.4 billion shekels from 1.9 billion shekels. The Tamar gas field, in which Delek is a partner, produced 8.3 billion cubic meters of gas in 2015, up from 7.5 billion cubic meters a year earlier, and has reached peak production. Delek saved itself a 712 million-shekel write-down on its 52% stake in Phoenix by getting an auditor’s opinion that it should be valued at the valuation set in the terms of a sale for the insurer that was eventually aborted, rather than its market capitalization. Shares of Delek, which set a quarterly dividend of 8.30 shekels a share, closed up 3.8% at 644.40 shekels. (Eran Azran)

Gazit-Globe moves into a quarterly profit

Gazit-Globe, Israel’s biggest property development company, said yesterday it moved to a net profit in the fourth quarter, helped by rising rental income. Gazit earned 1.14 shekels (30 cents) a share in the October to December period, compared to a 1.25-shekel loss a year earlier. Rental income grew 24% to 1.56 billion shekels and net operating income rose 25% to 1.05 billion shekels, boosted by the consolidation of its Atrium European Real Estate subsidiary and the acquisition by its Citycon subsidiary of Norwegian real-estate firm Sektor Gruppen. Gazit said the fair value gain from investment property and property under development was 231 million shekels, compared to 699 million shekels in the fourth quarter of 2014. The company said it planned to buy back 100 million shekels of its shares and 250 million shekels of its debt. Gazit said it would pay a dividend of 46 cents a share for the quarter. Gazit shares finished 0.7% higher at 34.29 shekels. (Reuters)

Tel Aviv shares down, dollar extends losses 

Tel Aviv shares ended lower yesterday, led by declines in Teva Pharmaceuticals, Bezeq and biomedical stocks. The dollar, which fell below 3.80 shekels this week, continued its way down yesterday to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.7660 shekels. The Finance Ministry took advantage of the greenback’s weakness to complete a $135-million hedging trade, its first in nearly a month. The benchmark TA-25 index ended the day down 0.8% at 1,450.39 points, marking a 5.1% decline for the first quarter. The TA-100 index was also down about 0.8%, to 1,250.19. Turnover was a moderate 1.14 billion shekels ($300 million). Bezeq slid 2% to 8.47 shekels and Teva lost 1.5% to 202.70 while Elbit Systems declined 1.8% to 353.70. Biomedical stocks were led lower by Navidea’s 3.7% decline to 3.43 and Mannkind’s 2.9% drop to 5.98. Energy shares, which rebounded midweek after initially falling after the High Court of Justice struck down a key part of the gas framework, ended lower yesterday. (Uri Tomer)