Publish date:

Nasdaq, U.S. economic optimism lifted Tel Aviv stocks 1.6% Thursday

Tower gained 0.6% despite weak Q4

Tel Aviv stocks closed up 1.6% on Thursday. The positive mood was attributed to Nasdaq gains on Wednesday and to a positive opening today, as well as to optimism about the recovery of the American economy.

The Maof-25 index and the TA-100 index each closed up 1.6%, while technology shares climbed 1.8%. Total turnover was moderate at NIS 270 million.

Leading indices were up 1% most of the session, but gains increased after the positive Nasdaq opening.

The Maof-25 index lost 1.3% in January, after climbing an aggregate 17% over two weeks as of December 20, and following the 2% cut in key lending.

Tower Semiconductor (Nasdaq:TSEM) closed up 0.6%. The company posted $8.8 million revenue for Q4, compared with $29.2 million for the parallel reporting period, and $9.9 million in Q3 2001. Net loss came to $9.3 million in Q4, and loss per share came to 41 cents, compared with the forecast loss per share of 39 cents. In Q4 2000 profit came to $400,000, and EPS was 3 cents.

Bank Hapoalim closed down 0.2%. Eli Yones has been appointed CEO to replace outgoing Amiram Sivan. The share had slumped slightly recently due to uncertainty concerning Sivan's retirement and slated replacement.

Phone company Bezeq climbed 1.2% on estimates that France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) and Deutsche Telekom (NYSE:DT) may bid for control in the state-owned company.

Israel Corporation bonds attracted lively action of NIS 19 million. Yesterday, the company sold NIS 48 million to institutional investors, also in off-floor trading.

TST Recommends

Leumi Mortgage Bank closed up 5.4%. The bank posted NIS 108 million profit for 2001, 10% up from 2000. In Q4, the bank netted NIS 38 million, compared with NIS 18 million in Q4 of 2000.

IDB Development Corporation gained 2.2% on NIS 34 million irregular turnover. Parent company IDB Holding Corporation closed up 1.1%. IDB Holding several months ago announced it is planning to acquire IDB Development shares, for which it allocated $50 million.

Discount Investments closed up 3% on NIS 9.5 million volume of trade after selling its remaining shares in European cable company UPC (Nasdaq:UPCOY). Discount Investments sold 2.4 million UPC shares at an average $45 per share. Discount Investments is to post a $108 million capital gain in the first quarter of 2002 as a result. After-tax profit is to come to $53 million.

Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) closed up 4.3%. It is estimated that the company plans a NIS 200 million bond offering. Chairman and CEO Dan Goldstein is expected to acquire 10% of shareholders equity from Shamrock for NIS 62 million. With this acquisition, Goldstein will once again become the major shareholder in Formula.

Ormat Industries jumped 7.4%. The electronics firm today announced it has won a tender to provide 2 geothermic units, parts and services for $18.7 million. The company said the agreement is due to be singed in March 2002.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) gained 1.2%, Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) dropped 0.3%, Partner Communications (Nasdaq, TASE:PTNR, LSE:PCCD) closed off 1.7% on NIS 10 million turnover.

Elbit Systems (Nasdaq:ESLT) maintained its positive momentum from yesterday, closing up 1.8% on NIS 3.5 million volume of trade.

Suny Electronic closed up 0.3%, completing aggregate gains of 16% over the last week.