The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index of the most-traded Israeli stocks in the U.S. fell for a third week, retreating 1 percent to 87.16. Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, had the biggest weekly drop in almost six months, while technology developer EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (EZCH) posted the biggest discount to Tel Aviv among dually traded shares.
Teva reported sales that missed the median forecast of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on May 9 as earnings from Europe declined. Given’s revenue fell $1.5 million short of the average estimate. EZchip tumbled the most in two weeks on May 10 after Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), its biggest customer, said a global economic slowdown will curb spending on computer-networking equipment.
The companies that reported earnings “have been slashed this week,” Gadi Beer, the manager of Amidex35 Israel Mutual Fund, said by phone from New York on May 11. “Most of it is uncertainty. It finally caught up with Israel.”
Average sales per share for the 25 companies in the Israel-US index will probably drop by half in the second quarter of 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Tension Over Greece
European and U.S. stocks fell last week as political tension in Greece heightened concern about the region’s debt crisis and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $2 billion trading loss weighed on shares of banks.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.4 percent and has fallen 7.5 percent since this year’s high on March 16. Greece’s political impasse has raised the possibility another election will have to be held as early as next month.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) sank to a two-month low after JPMorgan said “egregious mistakes” and ‘sloppiness’’ caused losses for the firm.
Israeli stocks are being driven lower by “uncertainty in Europe, the global economy, Greece and the U.S.,” Jacob de Tusch-Lec, a fund manager at Artemis Investment Management LLP, said by phone from London on May 11.
European Sales Down
American depositary receipts of Teva slumped 5.9 percent to $41.81 in New York, the sharpest weekly decline since Nov. 25. The company’s Tel Aviv shares fell 2 percent to 158.7 shekels, or the equivalent of $41.58.
Teva posted revenue of $5.1 billion in the first three months of the year, compared with the median estimate of $5.5 billion from 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales in Europe fell 2 percent to $1.32 billion while revenue jumped 46 percent to $2.8 billion in the U.S., the company’s largest market, Teva reported May 9.
Given Imaging Ltd., the Yokneam, Israel-based biotechnology company that makes pill-sized cameras, said sales grew 4.7 percent to $42 million in the first quarter, falling short of the median estimate of $43.5 million from three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Shares fell 6.4 percent in the week, the most since August, to $17.76. The company’s Tel Aviv shares gained 1.2 percent today to 68.90 shekels, or the equivalent of $18.05.
Slower to Sign
EZchip (EZCH), a maker of network processors that facilitate faster transmission of voice and data, fell the most in two weeks on May 10 and closed at $40.46 last week. Israel Shares of the Yokneam, Israel-based company dropped 4.1 percent today to 156.3 shekels, or the equivalent of $40.96.
Cisco Systems Inc., the world’s largest maker of computer-networking equipment, made up 49 percent, or $7 million, of EZchip’s revenue in the first quarter. San Jose, California-based Cisco said May 9 that it’s taking longer to sign deals with corporate customers because of a hesitant spending environment.
Nice Systems Ltd. (NICE) in Tel Aviv slid 1.4 percent to 143.8 shekels, or the equivalent of $37.68.
The company’s revenue rose to $210 million in the first quarter, it said on May 9, compared with the median estimate of $214.5 million from 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Prolor Biotech Inc. dropped 3.9 percent today to 20.68 shekels, or the equivalent of $5.42 following a 7.9 percent decline to $5.24 on May 11 in New York. The developer of therapeutic proteins said it priced an offering of 6.5 million shares at $5 each.
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