Given Imaging Gains to Year High as Buy Calls Increase

Given Imaging Ltd., the Israeli maker of swallowable cameras, gained to the highest in almost a year in Israel after its shares in New York rallied on new analysts’ buy ratings.

Shares of Yokneam, Israel-based Given climbed 2.6 percent to 71.17 shekels, or $20.07, the highest since Nov. 27 at the close in Tel Aviv. The gain follows the New York shares’ advance to a two-year high of $20.46 on Oct. 11.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. initiated coverage of Given with a buy rating, citing an expected ruling by the end of the year from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a pill used to diagnose diseases when colonoscopies can’t be performed. The PillCam Colon 2 has already been approved in Japan and Europe. Four of six analysts that cover Given rate the company the equivalent of a buy, the highest level since February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“My expectations are that they receive it in November,” Bryan Brokmeier, an analyst at the Maxim Group LLC who rates the stock buy, said in a telephone interview from New York on Oct. 11. “Investors aren’t giving Given enough credit for their ability to hit commercial milestones.”

Shutdown Effect

The FDA’s “anticipated activities are subject to resource constraints on the Agency due to the lapse in appropriations and may change in the event of a protracted lapse period,” the agency said on its website. The FDA will continue drug and device reviews which rely on fees, it said.

“For products that are in review, where the FDA is still sort of actively evaluating FDA applications, those are being delayed,” Jeremy Feffer, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald LP in New York, said by phone on Oct. 11. “For those that that are presumably in the later stages like this one should be because they submitted almost a year ago, I don’t know if the shutdown is going to have any sort of impact.”

Feffer, who has a buy rating on Given and estimates a 22 percent price increase in the next twelve months, expects the FDA decision either later this month or in November. Maxim’s Brokmeier also recommends investors buy the stock, and anticipates a price gain to $23.

Given’s U.S.-traded shares had closed at an 89 cent premium to those in Israel, the largest since June 25, reversing from a discount. Shares in Tel Aviv gained 0.9 percent last week to 69.40 shekels, or $19.57.

The Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index of the biggest Israeli companies traded in New York rose 1.1 percent to 102, boosting its weekly gain to 1.2 percent.

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