With the market dominated by giants like Amdocs ( DOX) and Portal Software ( PRSF), life is hard for young Israeli billing companies. They can't compete with the aggressive pricing of their competitors or get a break with the large communications companies, which are firmly in the hands of the corporate dinosaurs. Given these
difficulties , investors have cooled their enthusiasm for downy billing firms. XaCCT has been handing in draft prospectuses for a Nasdaq IPO for six months, but has put it off time and time again. Narus has also drawn back from going public for now. Then there's Mind CTI ( MNDO), which pulled off a Nasdaq IPO about three months ago. Mind CTI hasn't traded deep south from its IPO price. Unlike the unfortunate ClickSoftware Technologies ( CKSW) and Nova Measuring Instruments ( NVMI), Mind CTI is hovering around its $10 IPO level. Mind CTI's third-quarter report published Wednesday shed light on the state of affairs among the smaller billing companies. Mind CTI continued to show solid revenue growth, reaching $4.2 million in the third quarter, double its results in the same quarter of 1999. It was also up 16% on the second quarter. To understand why billing has lost its sex appeal, one only has to look at other Israeli companies that published third quarter reports Thursday.