Business in Brief: TA-100 Barely Budges — Despite Surge in Natural Gas Shares

Valtech Cardio exit collapses as HeartWare cancels $850-million acquisition; Mellanox sees Q4 revenues jump 25%; Check Point's earnings beat expectations.

Bloomberg

Valtech Cardio exit collapses as HeartWare cancels $850-million acquisition

HeartWare International and Valtech Cardio announced Thursday the termination of HeartWare’s proposed acquisition of Israeli company Valtech, which had been announced in September. Valtech, which is based in Or Yehuda, develops heart valve repair and replacement technology. The Massachusetts company was expected to pay as much as  $860 million for Valtech. The transaction was apparently scuttled by a drop in HeartWare’s share price and investor opposition. “While we continue to believe Valtech’s portfolio of mitral and tricuspid interventional tools holds tremendous promise, HeartWare finds itself in a different set of circumstances than when we first entered into the agreement,” HeartWare CEO and president Doug Godshall said.Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, HeartWare will make a $30 million loan to Valtech in the form of a convertible promissory note. The Massachusetts firm has been under pressure recently following a setback in its development of a heart pump. (Yoram Gabison)

Mellanox sees Q4 revenues jump 25%

Mellanox Technologies, a Yokne’am-based chipmaker, saw revenue increase 25% in the last quarter of 2015 to $177 million, the company announced Wednesday. The growth came even before the company’s slated merger with EZchip Semiconductor. Mellanox, which is traded on the Nasdaq exchange, beat analysts’ expectations for fourth-quarter profits and the outlook for the current quarter, prompting the company’s shares to surge by 8% in late trading Wednesday. Mellanox reported fourth-quarter (GAAP) operating profits of about $20 million, up 46% over the quarter in 2014. For the year 2015 as a whole, the company saw revenue growth of about 40% from $464 million to $648 million. It had $138.5 million in adjusted net profits in 2015. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Check Point’s earnings beat expectations

Cybersecurity giant Check Point Software Technologies reported quarterly profit that beat expectations on strong demand for its advanced threat prevention and mobile security technologies. Check Point earned $1.20 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the fourth quarter, up from $1.07 a year earlier, on $262 million in non-GAAP operating income. Revenue grew 9% to $458 million, the Israel-based company said Thursday. It was forecast to have earned $1.15 cents a share on revenue of $457 million, according to Thomson Reuters Institutional Brokers’ Estimate System. Check Point acquired two Israeli companies last year. In February it bought cyber security start-up Hyperwise and in April it said it was buying Lacoon Mobile Security to help prevent cyber attacks on mobile phones. “Our investment in advanced threat prevention and mobile security are producing results,” CEO Gil Shwed said. (Reuters)

TA-100 barely budges — despite surge in natural gas shares on Netanyahu’s comments

The benchmark TA-25 index of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rose 0.3% to 1,452.17 points Thursday. The broader TA-100 indix inched up 0.04% to 1,249.38 points, despite a surge in stocks linked to the natural gas industry after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a summit meeting in Cyprus about the prospect of a gas export pipeline that would run through Greece. (See further coverage on this page). Trading volume was high at 2.58 billion shekels ($651 million). The Oil and Gas index closed 5.2% higher at 8.69.52 points led by an 8.1% gain in the share price of Avner Oil Exploration, which closed at 2.19 shekels  and a 7.6% jump in the shares of Delek Drilling, which closed at 11.18 shekels. Shares of pharmaceutical company MannKind were particularly volatile at the end of the trading week, dropping 15.8% Thursday to 3.79 shekels, after a 38.1% gain Wednesday. Shares of the U. Dori Group surged 25.9% Thursday, to 18 agorot. (Uri Tomer)