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Babylon Gains Most in Four Months as CEO Sees Online Ads Rising

Babylon Ltd. (BBYL) gained the most in four months after the maker of translation software said it’s set to release a new product next week and expects to continue to benefit from a surge in online advertising.

Shares of Babylon, based in Or Yehuda, Israel, added 9.7 percent to 26.94 shekels, the most since Sept. 9 at the close in Tel Aviv. The stock has gained 15 percent in the last three days. The rally comes after the shares fell to 21.12 shekels on Dec. 24, the lowest level since April, on concern that revenue from its partnership with Google Inc. (GOOG) will fall and plans to list on the Nasdaq Stock Market will be delayed.

“As long as online advertising budgets are growing, together with growth in downloads of web applications, we expect Babylon to continue to benefit from this global trend,” Babylon Chief Executive Officer Alon Carmeli said today in a phone interview. Babylon plans to release its new free translation software next week, he added.

Global online advertising may rise 15 percent to exceed $100 billion in 2013, according to Bloomberg Industries. Mobile advertising will surge 62 percent surpass $13.5 billion, it said.

Babylon’s stock has slumped 15 percent since the company said Nov. 25 it planned to start a roadshow for a potential U.S. initial public offering in early 2013, later than some investors anticipated. The company said earlier in that month that it will seek to raise $115 million in equity.

Carmeli said he could not comment on the company’s IPO plans. Still, like “other companies awaiting to hold an IPO on the Nasdaq, we are very happy with the positive solution that avoided the fiscal cliff in the U.S.”

U.S. lawmakers passed a budget on Jan. 1, averting spending cuts and tax increases threatening a recovery in the world’s biggest economy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net

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