Blue Square jumped almost 6 percent to $3.47 in New York yesterday, extending a 12-month rally to 54 percent and leaving the stock 1.2 percent above the shares in Israel. The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index fell for the first time in three days as SodaStream International Ltd. dropped to a one-week low. Elbit Systems Ltd. (ESLT), an Israeli defense developer, closed at a 0.5 percent discount to its Tel Aviv-traded shares.
Israeli grocers that tumbled in June, including Shufersal Ltd. (SAE), the nation’s largest supermarket chain, Rami Levi Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (RMLI) and Blue Square, outperformed the TA-25 Index (TA-25) in Tel Aviv yesterday. Blue Square, which owns the Mega, Shefa Shuk and Eden Nature chains, is trading at 0.7 times book value, or assets minus liabilities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s about half the valuation of the last five years.
“There has been a bit of a rally in the sector recently,” Zach Herzog, head of international sales at Psagot Investment House Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said by phone yesterday. “People think that maybe the sector is getting some strength and the shares are undervalued.”
The Bloomberg Israel-US gauge slipped 0.7 percent to 90.88 yesterday, compared with a 0.3 percent advance for the benchmark TA-25, which capped its third day of gains.
Blue Square, based in Rosh Ha’Ayin, Israel, jumped the most in three months in New York. Its Tel Aviv-listed shares gained 3.6 percent to 12.48 shekels, or $3.43.
SodaStream (SODA), a home soda-machine maker, had the largest decline in the index of the biggest Israeli companies in New York. The Airport City, Israel-based company fell 4.2 percent to $67.41.
Elbit, based in Haifa, Israel, rose 1.2 percent to $42.97 in New York. The Tel Aviv-listed shares gained 1.6 percent to 157.30 shekels, or $43.19.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jessica Summers in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org