Israeli stocks on Wall Street traded mixed throughout Friday's session as the Nasdaq closed down 3.56%, sinking below the dreaded 2500-point level.
Losers included Check Point Software Technologies (Nasdaq:CHKP), which fell 7.1% to $129.4, and Mercury Interactive (Nasdaq:MERQ), which shed 5.5% to 71.9. Since announcing excellent financial results two weeks ago, both Check Point and Mercury stocks have been volatile. Check Point has lost 22% since then and Mercury is even worse off, having fallen 26%.
Precise Software Solutions (Nasdaq:PRSE) shed 5.1% to $23.4, following its huge 17% plunge yesterday. The losses are being attributed to investors trying to sell-off shares ahead of the end of the firm's February 15, 2001 lock-up period. The stock has fallen 23% in the past two days.
Other losers include Harmonic (Nasdaq:HLIT), which declined 9.1%, Vyyo (Nasdaq: VYYO), which fell 7.5% to $10; and AudioCodes (Nasdaq:AUDC), which plunged 10.1% to $20.
Teva stages a recovery
But it's good news for Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) as it continued to recuperate from its recent slump. The stock jumped 3.8% to $57, following its 7% gain yesterday. The share's upward motion is largely due to Teva's receipt of FDA approval for two of its generic drugs. The company is expected to release an excellent financial report in the next few days. Teva forecasts a record quarterly income of $462.4 and an EPA of 38 cents, which is a 19% improvement over its fourth quarter in 1999.
Comverse Technology (Nasdaq:CMVT) is also doing well, the stock rose 1.7% to 104.2 and NUR Macroprinters (Nasdaq:NURM) is also up 4.7% to $8.4.
Nice goes up despite downgrade
Despite a downgrade, Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) traded up 7% to $14.2. That's after the stock yesterday fell 29.4% to $13.1. The collapse followed news of the firm's decision to dismiss 220 employees and the resignation of its chairman Benny Levin.
Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock from its Recommended list to a Market Perform. The investment house estimates Nice's 2001 income will reach $123 million compared to previous estimates of $191 million. Earnings estimates have also been dramatically reduced for 2001. Nice's earnings per share have been downgraded from $1.1, to a loss estimate of $1.18.
Solomon Smith Barney analysts remain Neutral about Nice, but lowered its price target to $15. The investment house cut its 2000 income estimates from $166 million to $154 million. Income estimates for 2001 were cut from $191 million to $145 million. Analysts are estimating EPA losses of $1.16, compared to previous per share earning estimates of 80 cents.