ClickSoftware Bets Phones to Lift Sales: Israel Overnight

ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd., the Israeli maker of workplace software, is rebounding from a five-month low after reiterating sales will rise as much as 25 percent as businesses boost spending on phone applications.

Shares of ClickSoftware jumped 2.3 percent to $7.21 in New York, after slumping to the lowest price since Nov. 19 last week. The Petach Tikva, Israel-based developer said yesterday that sales will rise to as much as $125 million this year, after posting first-quarter revenue 6.8 percent below analysts’ projections. The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index added 1 percent. Mellanox Technologies Ltd. fell 9.3 percent at 5:48 p.m. in New York as its sales forecast trailed estimates.

“We still have the potential to accelerate growth,” Moshe BenBassat, ClickSoftware’s chairman and chief executive officer, said by phone from Tel Aviv yesterday. “We are starting to see revenue from mobile.”

ClickSoftware announced a plan in January to bolster revenue by focusing on software apps for smartphones, expanding into regions including Latin America and enhancing its cloud computing services. Sales of mobile software will drive results in the second half of the year, BenBassat said yesterday. Global spending on corporate software will rise 6.4 percent to $297 billion in 2013, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

Sales for ClickSoftware will rise 21 percent to $121.3 million, according to the mean of four analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That’s within the company’s target growth range of 20 percent to 25 percent and would mean the highest revenue since at least 1997, the data show.

‘Throwaway Year’

ClickSoftware’s strategy to accelerate growth implies higher costs from research to hiring and marketing, which makes 2013 a “throwaway year” for earnings, according to Roth Capital Partners LLC, which downgraded the software maker after it announced its plan on Jan. 8.

“Since they came in short in Q1, their guidance looks difficult to achieve,” Nathan Schneiderman, an analyst at Roth Capital, with a hold rating on ClickSoftware, said in a telephone interview yesterday from Newport Beach, California. “Even though they repeated the guidance, there’s more of a risk that it’ll fall short for the year.”

ClickSoftware’s dividend yield of 4.5 percent is the highest among the 25 companies on the Israel-US Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s board approved an 8 cent-a-share dividend to be paid on May 22, according to yesterday’s statement. The shares rose the most since March 7.

Mellanox Results

The Israel-US gauge of the 25 largest Israeli companies traded in New York had the biggest advance since March 12 to 89.59. Israel’s benchmark TA-25 Index slipped 0.8 percent to 1,205.09 in Tel Aviv.

Mellanox slumped to $56.08 after the close of the market. Shares in Tel Aviv fell 7.9 today, the most since Jan. 24. The Yokneam Elit, Israel-based company forecast second-quarter revenue of as much as $97.5 million, trailing the $108 million average estimate of 14 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

“The start of the year has been challenging,” Chief Executive Officer Eyal Waldman said in a conference call, adding the company didn’t expect any “large deal” in the current quarter. The shares rose 0.9 percent to $61.83 in regular trading.

Prolor Biotech Inc. had the biggest gain on the gauge, surging 8.4 percent to $6.32. Opko Health Inc. agreed to buy the Israeli drugmaker for $480 million to combine two companies that count U.S. pharmaceutical billionaire Phillip Frost as their largest shareholder. Shares in Tel Aviv this morning fell 2.8 percent to 22.32 shekels, or $6.18.

Teva, Syneron

American depositary receipts of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. increased 2.1 percent to $38.66, the most since March 6. Shares in Tel Aviv today gained 2 percent to 139.80 shekels, or $38.74.

Syneron Medical Ltd. declined 4.2 percent to $8.47, the largest retreat on the Israel-US Index.

Israel Electric Corp. plans to sell $1 billion of bonds in international markets over the next two months as the state-run power producer refinances debt, Chief Executive Officer Eli Glickman said in an interview yesterday.

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