Nice to ClickSoftware Jump Pares Monthly Slump: Israel Overnight

Nice Systems Ltd. (NICE) and ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (CKSW) surged in New York, paring the biggest monthly loss since May for U.S.-traded Israeli stocks, after the technology companies reported earnings that beat estimates.

The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index (ISRA25BN) of the largest New- York traded Israeli companies rose 0.7 percent to 83.66 as trading resumed following Hurricane Sandy. The gain reduced the October decline to 3.6 percent. Nice Systems posted its biggest advance since May 2010 after the maker of analytical telecommunications software raised its 2012 earnings forecast. ClickSoftware, whose technology is used to manage workforces, increased the most in a year as net income exceeded estimates.

Nice Systems, based in Ra’anana, Israel, raised its net income forecast by as much as 8 percent and ClickSoftware offset weaker European growth with sales in Latin America and Russia two weeks after Intel Corp. (INTC) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), the world’s biggest technology companies, reported earnings that fell short of analysts’ projections.

“The fact that Nice was able to put up this kind of a quarter and make this kind of forecast in a very cloudy spending environment has really grabbed investors’ attention,” Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co. who rates Nice Systems outperform, said by phone yesterday from Westfield, New Jersey. Nice is “an underappreciated story given how well they’re doing relative to the industry,” he said.

Shutdown

Israel’s TA-25 Index (TA-25) added 0.5 percent to 1,219.71 at 10:24 a.m. in Tel Aviv. The gauge advanced 2.1 percent in October, its fourth consecutive monthly gain. Most U.S. stocks rose as equity markets in the world’s largest economy reopened after Hurricane Sandy caused the longest weather-related shutdown since 1888.

The Bloomberg Israel-US Index declined last month as Ceragon Networks Ltd. (CRNT), which sells its gear to telecommunication operators and Internet service providers, and Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (MLNX), the maker of products used to transfer and store data, issued lower-than-expected forecasts. The index has added 3 percent this year lagging behind the Nasdaq Composite Index (CCMP)’s 14 percent increase.

Nice advanced 7.8 percent to $33.26. The shares in Tel Aviv today gained 2.1 percent to 131.2 shekels, or $33.9.

The company raised its full-year 2012 adjusted earnings per share forecast to $2.41-$2.46 compared with an Aug. 1 forecast of $2.28-$2.38, according to a PRNewswire statement yesterday. Third-quarter adjusted revenue grew 10 percent to $220.9 million, while adjusted net income rose to $39.7 million from $34.5 million.

‘Good Visibility’

ClickSoftware, based in Petach Tikva, Israel, jumped 6.5 percent to $7.49, the most since October 2011, as third-quarter sales of $27.3 million beat the $25.5 million average estimate of four analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

“ClickSoftware has been able to offset the macroeconomic slowdown in Europe with new business in Brazil, North America and Russia,” Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC, said in a phone interview from Palo Alto, California yesterday. “That they have good visibility on revenue, especially in this difficult economic environment, is the reason money is coming back to this stock.”

Mellanox, based in Yokneam Elit, Israel, lost 24 percent in October after the company forecast fourth-quarter sales of $145 million to $150 million, below the $156.6 million estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Tel Aviv-based Ceragon tumbled 29 percent last month as Chief Executive Officer Ira Palti said the second half of 2012 has been “slower than originally expected.”

Potash Acquisition

American depositary receipts of Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) traded over-the-counter in New York gained 5.4 percent to $12.89, the most since July. The shares in Tel Aviv today fell 0.2 percent to 48.50 shekels, or $12.52. ICL’s market value today was 61.71 billion shekels, or $15.9 billion.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s biggest fertilizer producer, is in talks with the Israeli government to acquire the chemicals company in a deal that may be worth more than $13.5 billion.

Israel Corp. (ILCO), the largest shareholder in Israel Chemicals, advanced 0.9 percent to 2,663 shekels today in Tel Aviv.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leon Lazaroff in New York at llazaroff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net

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