Given Declines to Lowest Since March on Profit: Israel Overnight
Given Imaging Ltd. (GIVN), the Israeli maker of pill-sized cameras for diagnosing digestive ailments, retreated to the lowest level since March after second-quarter net income dropped 14 percent.
The company, based in Yokneam, fell 2.5 percent to $18.70 on the Nasdaq Stock Market in New York yesterday, the weakest level since March 18. The Tel Aviv shares retreated 5.4 percent to 62.10 shekels, or the equivalent of $17.75. The Bloomberg Israel-US 25 Index of the largest Israeli companies that trade in the U.S. lost 3.8 percent to 88.93, the lowest level since July 2009, as concern global growth is faltering intensified.
Given said Aug. 3 that second-quarter net income dropped to $1.9 million from $2.2 million a year earlier as sales of its PillCam dropped in the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. The trial for its new product, PillCam COLON 2, is on schedule, the company said.
“Earnings were a little bit disappointing,” said Bryan Brokmeier, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York, who has a “hold” rating on the company. “The unstable economic backdrop, and potential delays of the PillCam COLON 2 launch, continue to be an overhang on shares.”
The 95-cent premium in Given’s New York shares compared with the Tel Aviv-traded stock was the largest among the biggest Israeli companies traded in the U.S.
Israel’s benchmark TA-25 Index slipped 2 percent to 1,154.96 yesterday. The Tel Aviv measure has lost 13 percent this year, or 12 percent in dollar terms. The Bloomberg Israel- US 25 Index is down 15 percent this year.
Prolor Biotech Inc. (PBTH), the Ness Ziona-based drugmaker whose biggest shareholder is billionaire Phillip Frost, posted the largest gain on the index, rising 0.9 percent to $5.47. The Tel Aviv stock climbed 2.9 percent to 19.39 shekels, or the equivalent of $5.54.
The company, which uses proteins to improve existing medical treatments, said this week that the second phase of the clinical trial of its long-acting CTP-modified version of human growth hormone showed that a single weekly injection of its treatment has the potential to replace seven consecutive daily dosages of currently marketed human growth hormone.
The results of the trial “have all the information they need to go forward with the design of the phase three,” said Raghuram Selvaraju, an equity analyst at Morgan Joseph TriArtisan Group in New York, who has a “buy” rating on the shares. “It demonstrates that they’re in good shape.”
Frost, who is also the chairman of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), the world’s biggest maker of generic drugs, founded Ivax Corp., a maker of generic drugs that Teva bought for $7.6 billion in 2006.
Israel, whose population of 7.7 million is similar to Switzerland’s, has 57 companies traded on the Nasdaq, the most of any country outside the U.S. after China. It is also home to the largest number of startup companies per capita in the world.
Israeli technology companies raised $569 million in capital during the second quarter of 2011, the most in two years and up from $343 million in the same period last year, according to the Israel Venture Capital-KPMG Quarterly Survey released July 13.
The nation’s stock market was upgraded to developed market status by MSCI Inc. in May 2010, the same month the 63-year-old country was accepted to the Organization for Economic Cooperation.
The shekel weakened 1 percent to 3.4990 per U.S. dollar by 4:30 p.m. in New York, the weakest level since May 18. The currency has increased 6.3 percent versus the dollar over the past six months, the best performer among 10 emerging markets in Europe, Middle East and Africa tracked by Bloomberg.
Allot Communications Ltd. (ALLT), Israel’s biggest maker of high- speed networking equipment, declined to the lowest since March 17, retreating 9.2 percent to $12.80 in New York. The shares traded in Israel fell 6.8 percent to 47.17 shekels, or the equivalent of $13.47.
Teva dropped 2.2 percent to $41.26. The Tel Aviv shares gained 0.6 percent to 146.50 shekels, or the equivalent of $41.82. Aceto Corp. said its unit has launched the first approved generic version of Teva’s Antabuse Tablets, which is used to treat chronic alcoholism.
LivePerson Inc. (LPSN), the maker of customer-service software, declined 4.2 percent to $11.08. The Tel Aviv shares slumped 8.8 percent to 38.97 shekels, or the equivalent of $11.12.
Second-quarter net income rose to $2.2 million, below the $2.8 million median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
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