Bloomberg News

Teva Climbs to Five-Month High as EZchip Drops: Israel Overnight

January 06, 2012

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. led gains among the biggest Israeli companies traded in New York yesterday on reports a partner of the world’s largest generic drug maker boosted its market share for cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Shares of Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva rose 1 percent to $43.55 in New York yesterday, after jumping 6.8 percent on Jan. 3 following the announcement that Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Jeremy Levin will replace Shlomo Yanai as chief executive officer. The advance pushed the Bloomberg Israel-US 25 Index of the largest Israeli companies traded in New York 0.1 percent higher. Teva gained 1 percent in Tel Aviv today to 167.5 shekels, or the equivalent of $43.54, at the 4:30 p.m. close. The country’s benchmark index, the TA-25, gained 0.2 percent.

Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., based near New Delhi, boosted sales of the generic version of Lipitor to 26 percent from 20 percent this week, according to DS Securities & Investments. Teva, whose shares sank 23 percent last year, will receive a portion of the profit for the first six months, under the terms of an agreement between the two companies. Lipitor had $10.7 billion in revenue in 2010.

“With the latest news of CEO changes, everything positive that is happening with the company is getting a lot more attention,” said Gilad Alper, a Tel Aviv-based analyst for Excellence Nessuah Investment House Ltd. “Teva has reached a dead end and its only chance is a new strategy.”

Marvell

EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. fell 1.4 percent to $28.99 after Marvell Technology Group Ltd. bought a Swedish competitor. EZchip’s Tel Aviv shares lost 0.5 percent today to 111.10 shekels, or the equivalent of $28.88.

Marvell completed yesterday the purchase of processor maker Xelerated AB, four months after Broadcom Corp. said it plans to acquire semiconductor company NetLogic Microsystems Inc. EZchip jumped 11 percent on Sept. 12 on speculation Marvell will buy the company to stave off growing competition.

“EZchip is down because people are looking at it and wondering whether there’s anybody who will buy it,” said Jay Srivatsa, the managing director of equity research at Chardan Capital Markets LLC. “It’s a tough business to become a major player so that’s why investors are a little bit concerned.”

Israel, whose population of 7.7 million is similar in size to Switzerland’s, has about 60 companies traded on the Nasdaq, the most of any country outside the U.S. after China. It is also home to the largest number of startup companies per capita in the world.

Ranbaxy

While Ranbaxy’s market share rose, Watson Pharmaceutical Inc.’s fell to 33 percent and Pfizer Inc. maintained its 41 percent holding, according to DS Securities.

“They are strengthening their share,” Natali Gotlieb, an analyst at I.B.I.-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said yesterday. “If the trends continue, it is obviously good.”

At Bristol-Myers, Levin helped oversee partnerships and acquisitions to replace revenue expected to be lost when the blood thinner Plavix, Bristol-Myers’ top-selling drug, faces generic competition this year.

On a conference call with analysts Jan. 3, Levin declined to discuss strategy changes and said he will take a “deep dive” into Teva’s drugs and research pipeline.

“We are confident in Dr. Levin’s ability to refocus and revitalize Teva,” Shibani Malhotra, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, wrote in an e-mailed report yesterday. Levin will “identify the key requirements for success within the increasingly challenging global pharmaceutical industry,” Malhotra said.

Check Point

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., the world’s second- largest network-security company, dropped the most in two weeks, retreating 2.3 percent yesterday to $51.73.

“We expect Check Point’s growth to decelerate in 2012 and 2013,” Tal Liani, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, who restarted coverage of the company with a “neutral” rating, wrote in an e-mailed report yesterday. “Competition is increasing. Check Point’s investment case is predicated on its ability to grow revenues beyond current expectations.”

SodaStream International Ltd., the maker of homemade soda machines, climbed 8.3 percent to $37.75, after rising 6.6 percent on Jan. 3.

The company sold more machines than anticipated during the holiday season, according to a Jan. 3 report from Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. based on a survey of retailers.

--Editors: Marie-France Han, Glenn J. Kalinoski

To contact the reporters on this story: Tal Barak Harif in New York at tbarak@bloomberg.net; Gwen Ackerman in Jerusalem at gackerman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net


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