The fates continue to smile on drug giant Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TEVA), evident in a series of improved analyst ratings from leading investment banks and the satisfactory pace of FDA approvals. Nonetheless, being identified with Israel is hurting the company, like others, in its relationship with institutional investors.
"Until six months ago, not a week went by without the institutional investors coming to visit us in Israel," says CFO Dan Suesskind. "But in recent months the situation has changed and we have switched to telephone conversations. We still see Europeans, but fewer and fewer Americans, down to none at all. In 'compensation', we recently organized a factory tour in a U.S. plant for about 25 investors, which was received extremely positively."
Another concern stems from recent reports that U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials no longer visit Israel, resulting in companies not receiving drug approvals on schedule and delays in the process. "We don't know for sure what is happening with FDA representatives," Suesskind said at a dual-listing conference yesterday. "There is no effect on us at this point. The FDA doesn't have to visit our Israeli plants at this stage, which already have approvals," he explained.
The fact that institutional investors no longer come to Israel is having no apparent effect on the company, which sees ever-increasing interest. Suesskind said that at this time 600 institutionals collectively hold more than 50% of the company.