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Strauss Gains as Citi Says Buy on Coffee, Dips: Tel Aviv Mover

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Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Strauss Group Ltd. rose to a record high after Citigroup Inc. started coverage of the Israeli food and beverage maker with a buy rating on bets sales of its coffee and salads will grow.

Strauss added 4.4 percent to 64.38 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv, the highest level since Bloomberg began tracking the data. Shares of the Petach Tikvah, Israel-based company have gained 32 percent this year. The benchmark TA-25 Index rose 0.4 percent, taking this week’s advance to 1.7 percent.

The company’s leading position in the emerging-market coffee business and its fast-growing dips and salad product line in the U.S. and Canada are “a potent blend,” Citigroup analyst Michael Klahr said today in an e-mailed note. “We think the stock can re-rate further as both businesses continue to grow and increase their share of earnings before interest and taxes from 57 percent currently.”

Marches that drew thousands of protesters into the streets of Tel Aviv in 2011 led the company to cut the prices on some of its products and to target overseas markets, including Latin America and Europe. Strauss sells hummus dips and spreads in Mexico through a $10 million venture with PepsiCo Inc.

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