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Caesarstone Falls From Record as Starts Worse Than Forecast

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Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Caesarstone Sdot Yam Ltd., the Israeli producer of quartz-based countertops, declined from a record after U.S. housing starts dropped more than forecast and the nation’s largest luxury homebuilder’s earnings missed analyst estimates.

Caesarstone slumped 9.4 percent to $22.61 in New York, the biggest decline since the company’s March debut. Shares reached a record $24.95 yesterday and have rallied 106 percent since March 21, the second-most successful foreign IPO in the U.S. over the past 12 months.

Total housing starts in the U.S., Caesarstone’s second-biggest market, dropped to an 890,000 rate, lower than the 920,000 median estimate from 85 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. posted net income of 3 cents a share for the quarter ended Jan. 31, less than the 10-cent average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Many building products companies and U.S. housing-related companies are down today because the Census Bureau released new home construction data that was below analysts’ consensus,” David Kirshenbaum, a New York-based analyst at Baron Capital, the fourth-largest holder of Caesarstone with about 1.2 million shares, said by e-mail.

U.S. revenue for Caesarstone grew 45 percent in 2012 to $86.8 million, making it the company’s fastest growing region and second-biggest market after Australia, Chief Executive Officer Yosef Shiran said on a conference call on Feb. 6.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Stilwell in New York at vstilwell1@bloomberg.net

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

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