Tech Companies Gain on Vegas Electronics Show: Israel Overnight

Israeli technology stocks rallied in New York yesterday on speculation that their sales will get a boost from the introduction of new products by companies including Microsoft (MSFT) Corp. and HTC Corp.

Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (TSEM), the maker of customized chips, jumped 10 percent in New York yesterday and Allot Communications Ltd. (ALLT) climbed 3.3 percent, pushing the Bloomberg Israel-US 25 Index of the largest Israeli companies traded in the U.S. to the highest level in more than two months. Israel’s TA-25 Index fell for the first time in nine days, losing 1 percent to 1,122.93 at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv.

Nokia Oyj (NOK) and Microsoft introduced their first high-speed Windows Phone for AT&T Inc. and HTC presented an LTE Windows Phone at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Stronger demand for smartphones may help Israeli technology companies that provide faster data transfer, according to Jay Srivatsa, the managing director of equity research at Chardan Capital Markets in New York.

“A lot of tech names are doing well because there’s so many investors that go to the show and try to figure out how to play some of these,” Srivatsa said in a phone interview from Las Vegas. “They go through the list of tech stocks that may get a nice boost from these products.”

The Bloomberg Israel-US 25 Index is up 7.4 percent since the start of the year, the most for a Jan. 1-10 period since Bloomberg started compiling data in 2006.

Consumer Electronics

Tower, the maker of customized chips, climbed to 68 cents yesterday, posting the biggest advance since August 2010. The Tel Aviv shares jumped 1.4 percent to 2.586 shekels, or the equivalent of 67 cents today.

Allot, which develops Internet traffic monitoring equipment, climbed to $16.64 yesterday, the highest level since Dec. 22. The Israeli stock added 1.1 percent to 63.29 shekels, or $16.44, today.

More than 100,000 people attend the annual CES, where products including the videocassette recorder, the Xbox video game console and the plasma television made their debuts, according to its website.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose to the highest level since July, climbing 0.9 percent yesterday. Alcoa Inc. (AA), the first company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report quarterly results, said sales rose 6 percent to $5.99 billion, beating estimates by 5.1 percent.

“It’s a confluence of several factors ranging from more upbeat analyst views on the industry to Alcoa’s positive outlook to the many announcements coming out of CES,” Andrew Uerkwitz, an Israeli-technology analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. said from Las Vegas.

EZchip Gains

EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (EZCH), the Israeli maker of network processors, climbed in New York even after Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR), one of its biggest customers, said fourth-quarter revenue and profit were probably lower than forecast.

EZchip advanced 0.8 percent to $29.77. The Tel Aviv stock fell 1.8 percent to 113.20 shekels, or $29.40, today.

“EZCH remains one of our top secular ideas as its network processing units are set to benefit from strong product cycle,” Daniel Meron, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in an e- mailed report dated Jan. 9.

Apple Inc. announced yesterday the acquisition of Anobit Technologies Ltd., an Israeli company that makes flash-memory storage drives for the iPhone and iPad.

Israel, whose population of 7.8 million is similar in size to Switzerland’s, has about 60 companies traded on the Nasdaq, the most of any country outside the U.S. after China. It is also home to the largest number of startup companies per capita in the world.

The shekel weakened 0.4 percent to 3.8498 a dollar at 4:49 p.m. in Tel Aviv.

Risk Adjusted

The TA-25 Index (TA-25) increased 1.7 percent yesterday, rising for an eighth day, the longest winning streak since October 2006. The benchmark had provided the fourth-best returns this year among 91 major indexes, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The measure climbed 4.5 percent in the first 10 days of 2012, with volatility of 8.87, giving the TA-25 Index a risk- adjusted return of 0.5 percent, Bloomberg data show.

Oil and gas exploration companies led gains in the benchmark after signing deals totaling $1.2 billion to supply gas from the Tamar site.

SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA) advanced for the first time in three days, increasing 3.3 percent to $37.91. Shares of the maker of homemade soda machines were rated “buy” in an initial coverage at Dougherty & Co.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, fell yesterday for the first time in six days in New York, dropping 0.1 percent to $44.84. The Tel Aviv shares gained 0.4 percent to 171.90 shekels, or the equivalent of $44.65 today.

Teva may have up to 40 product launches in 2012, Bill Marth, president of U.S. operations for the company, said in an interview on CNBC yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tal Barak Harif in New York at tbarak@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.