Israeli stocks traded in New York rose to the highest level in two years, led by Orbotech Ltd., as signs of economic recovery in the U.S. and Europe boosted sales for the export-driven nation’s companies.
The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index added 0.5 percent to 97.57, rising to the highest level since August 2011. Orbotech, the Israeli maker of gear used to test consumer electronics, led gains after revenue exceeded analysts’ projections for a sixth straight quarter. LivePerson Inc., a maker of software that allows businesses to track visitors to their websites, surged the most in 17 months in New York and Tel Aviv as a 12 percent increase in sales surprised analysts.
Six out of the eight companies in the Israel-US measure that have reported second-quarter results beat analysts’ sales estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This compares with about half surpassing forecasts last year, the data show. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said yesterday that economic indicators in Europe signal the region is past the worst of its longest-ever recession while in the U.S. jobless claims fell to the lowest in more than five years.
“One of the things that’s very important is the economic recovery and you’re seeing that both in Europe and in the U.S.,” Zach Herzog, the head of international sales at Psagot Investment House Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said in a telephone interview yesterday. The economic improvement has prompted “a stronger earnings season,” he said.
Israel relies on exports to markets including the U.S. and Europe for 40 percent of its gross domestic product. In addition to an improvement in recent economic data in the two regions, central banks pledged to continue stimulus efforts.
The Bloomberg Israel-US measure rallied for a second day, extending its gain this year to 13 percent. The TA-25 Index rose 0.4 percent to 1,207.84.
Orbotech, based in Yavne, Israel, jumped to the highest price since May 2011. The stock climbed 6.7 percent to $13.16 in New York, amid trading volume four times the daily average over the past 90 days.
LivePerson surged 8.2 percent to $10. The New York-based company’s shares snapped a two-day decline in Tel Aviv, adding 10 percent to 37.77 shekels, or $10.60.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, dropped 0.7 percent to $39.42 in New York. Second-quarter profit fell 8.9 percent as the Petach Tikva, Israel-based company introduced fewer new generic medicines. The stock in Tel Aviv slipped 1.4 percent to 139.20 shekels, or $39.05.