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Babylon Soars as Software Maker’s Profit Triples: Tel Aviv Mover

May 8 (Bloomberg) -- Babylon Ltd. advanced to a record after the Israeli maker of translation and dictionary computer software said first-quarter profit more than tripled.

The shares surged 8.9 percent to 27.49 shekels, the highest level since they were listed in February 2007, at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv. The stock rallied 202 percent this year, compared with a 5.5 percent gain in the TA-25 Index.

Net income rose to 14.4 million shekels ($3.8 million) from 4.19 million shekels a year earlier while revenue advanced to 113 million shekels from 33 million shekels. Babylon serves more than 150 million customers in about 200 markets, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Babylon’s website is ranked 46 in a three-month global traffic ranking, according to Alexa Internet Inc., a research company.

“We continue to expand our customer base while maintaining a strong profitability,” Chief Executive Officer Alon Carmeli said in a phone interview today. “Our strongest market is still Brazil, with major growth coming from India, Turkey and Poland."

Beni Dekel, an analyst at Union Bank of Israel Ltd. in Tel Aviv, raised the price estimate to 46.1 shekels from 24.9 shekels and maintained his buy recommendation for the stock, according to an e-mailed note today.

‘‘The company is just at the beginning of realizing its potential,’’ Dekel wrote.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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