The Ticker: Israel Offers to Recognize Hong Kong, Singapore and Toronto Stock Exchanges

Shares of Check Point drop on Wall St. on disappointing fourth-quarter outlook ■ Nice tops Q3 estimates, tweaks 2017 profit forecast ■ Teva shares plunge on TASE as TA-35 drops by more than 1%

A woman walk past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Oct. 26, 2017.
Vincent Yu/AP

Israel offers to recognize Hong Kong, Singapore and Toronto stock exchanges

Israel wants to attract new companies to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by allowing them to dual list on more markets, particularly in Asia, where local firms are increasingly looking to raise money. The Israel Securities Authority has drafted an amendment to add Hong Kong, Singapore and Toronto to its list of recognized exchanges, which is currently limited to U.S. and London markets. The move piggybacks on a broader government push to strengthen economic ties with Asian countries. It also coincides with  the Hong Kong stock exchange’s decision this year to add Israel to a list of places from which it accepts companies. Chinese investment in Israel jumped last year over tenfold to a record $16.5 billion, with money flooding into the country’s buzzing internet, cybersecurity and medical device startups. In July, Narendra Modi became the first sitting Indian prime minister to visit Israel, in a bid to spur trade. The amendment will be discussed at a public hearing and then needs government approval, a process that could take several months. (Reuters)

Shares of Check Point drop on Wall St. on disappointing fourth-quarter outlook

Check Point Technologies shares dropped 12.5% to $25.625 on Nasdaq Wednesday, cutting the Tel Aviv-based company’s market cap by about $2 billion following a disappointing earnings forecast for the last quarter of the year. (As of midafternoon New York time Thursday, they gained back 2.86%). The provider of network and cloud security is forecasting quarterly results below analysts’ expectations due to relative weak U.S. sales. The company reported a 13.6% rise in profit in the third quarter, on growth in demand for mobile security products. The company’s net income rose to $192.7 million, or $1.16 per share, in the third quarter, from $169.7 million, or 99 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6.3% to $454.6 million. (Reuters and Omri Zerachovitz)

Nice tops Q3 estimates, tweaks 2017 profit forecast

Ra’anana-based Nice Systems narrowed the range of its 2017 earnings estimate after topping third-quarter forecasts boosted by higher revenue in its omni-channel, cloud, analytics and artificial intelligence businesses. Nice said on Thursday it earned 95 cents per diluted share excluding one-time items in the quarter, up from 83 cents a year earlier. Revenue jumped 36% to $326.8 million. Citing better visibility, Nice raised its 2017 profit forecast to $4.00 to $4.10, from $3.90 to $4.10, with an expected midpoint of $4.05. It foresees 2017 revenue of $1.338 billion to $1.35 billion, largely unchanged. Nice has been banking on analytical tools, which allow companies to assess large amounts of data to spot fraud and fend off security threats, to deliver faster growth amid slowing sales growth of systems helping call centers and surveillance of buildings and transport networks. The company’s shares, which are dual-listed on Nasdaq and in Tel Aviv, closed up 1.48% at 195.20 shekels in Tel Aviv. (Reuters and TheMarker) 

Teva shares plunge on TASE as TA-35 drops by more than 1%

The benchmark TA-35 index dropped 1.06% in trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Thursday, to 1,427.62 points. The broader TA-125 index lost 0.95%, closing at 1,304.59. Trading was overshadowed by the 13.65% drop in the share price of Teva Pharmaceuticals, which closed at 42.38 shekels ($12.07). (See coverage on page 15). Total trading volume was 2.09 billion shekels, more than 391 million shekels of which was Teva shares. Shares in another pharmaceutical firm, Mylan, were off 5.73% at 123.30 shekels. Bank shares, however, showed gains, with the Banks 5 index up 0.31% to 1,840.44. (Guy Erez)