The Ticker: SodaStream Stock Gains on Better-than-expected Fourth Quarter

Threat to Alon Blue Square sale fades as bondholders, bank reach accord; Perrigo shares drop after earnings disappointment.

An employee uses a forklift truck to prepare pallets of SodaStream products for export at the SodaStream International Ltd. factory in Mishor Adumim, near Jerusalem, Israel, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011.
Bloomberg

SodaStream stock gains on better-than-expected fourth quarter

Shares of SodaStream, the maker of home soda machines, rallied yesterday after the company reported earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts. SodaStream, which is trying to reposition its products as a healthier alternative to bottled soda, said adjusted net income was $5 million, or 24 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2015. That was down from $7.5 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier but well above the average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, which was for earnings of 17 cents. SodaStream said revenue was $112.9 million, down from $126.5 million a year ago. But after adjusting for exchange rates, the decline was a more modest, to $124.4 million. In any case, five analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenues of just $109 million. “There is still work ahead of us in order to position the company for consistent profitable growth,” CEO Daniel Birnbaum conceded. SodaStream shares closed up 14% at 60.84 shekels ($15.55). (TheMarker)

Threat to Alon Blue Square sale fades as bondholders, bank reach accord

Bondholders and Bank Hapoalim appeared last night to be close to a compromise agreement over who will get the proceeds of Alon Israel’s sale of the holding company Alon Blue Square, lifting a threat by bondholders to block the sale. Under an emerging agreement with Alon Israel’s Series Aleph bondholders, 60 million shekels ($15.3 million) of the 115 million shekels Moti Ben-Moshe is paying for Alon Israel’s 72.7% stake in Alon Blue Square will go to repaying debt owed by another Alon Israel unit and the other 55 million shekels will go to repaying money owed to Hapoalim, which made some other concessions. The bondholders, who are owed  1.75 billion shekels, met yesterday amid fears that they would use their veto power on any asset sales by Alon Israel to block the sale. Alon Blue Square shares closed up 17.2% at 1.45 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Perrigo shares drop after earnings disappointment

Perrigo shares fell yesterday after it missed market earnings estimates for the first time in five quarters due to higher costs and disappointing performance in its branded consumer health care unit. The drugmaker reported a net loss of $107 million, or 74 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, including an impairment charge of $185 million, compared to a profit of $70.2 million, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.80 per share, below the analysts’ average estimate of $1.93, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 33% to $1.42 billion, just shy of the average analyst estimate of $1.46 billion. Perrigo said it expects adjusted earnings for 2016 to be between $9.50 and $9.80 per share. Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn $9.74 per share. Perrigo shares ended down 8.9% at 514.50 shekels ($131.48). (Reuters)

Bank shares weigh on Tel Aviv stocks

Bank shares led the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange lower yesterday. The benchmark TA-25 index ended down 0.8% to 1,418.22 points, while the TA-100 index shed 0.5% to close at 1,223.28 points. Turnover was a relatively brisk 1.58 billion shekels ($400  million). Bank Leumi finished down 1.9% at 12.80 shekels and Bank Hapoalim was off 2% to 18.36, while El Al Airlines sank 6.9% to 2.84. Among blue chips, Israel Chemcials rose 2.6% to 15.64 and Opko health added 7.1% to 34.50. Magic was lifted 6.6% to 24.52 shekels after the software company reported fourth-quarter earnings of 13 cents a share, 1 cent above forecasts. Mazor Robotics advanced 5.4% to 19.68 after turning in record quarterly figures for revenues ($8.8 million) and systems orders (12 Renaissance systems). In the fixed-income market, the government’s 10-year Shahar bond rose 0.12% to cut its yield to 1.82%. Its Galil bond for the same term gained 0.34% to a yield of 0.46%. (Ruti Levy)