Tech Watch: Tower, Retalix give heads up on earnings; ECI wins Beijing subway deal

Tower Semiconductor Ltd. said Wednesday it expects fourth quarter 2005 revenue to approximate $31 million, an increase of some 50% from the previous quarter.

By AVI KRAWITZ
January 5, 2006 06:41
4 minute read.
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tech watch 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Tower Semiconductor Ltd. said Wednesday it expects fourth quarter 2005 revenue to approximate $31 million, an increase of some 50% from the previous quarter. This would bring full year revenue to around $102m. Two analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected the company to report revenue of $26.75m., on average, for the quarter and of $97.7m., for the year. The company has undergone a restructuring after suffering from continued losses, which forced it to cut 240 jobs over the last two years. For the first nine months of 2005, Tower's net loss widened to $157.9m., from $114.4m. in the same period the year before. Revenue for the nine months dropped to $70.9m., from $96m. in the first nine months of 2004. Tower will release full fourth quarter and year-end results in February. CopperGate Communications, a leading supplier of chipset solutions for multimedia home networking, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that Motorola Ventures, the equity investment arm of Motorola made an investment in the company, as part of a $14.5M round led by new investor Carmel Ventures, with the participation of existing investors Tamir Fishman Ventures and the Challenge Fund. Petah Tikva-based ECI Telecom was selected by Beijing Subway to implement its solutions for an internal communications network on the state-run subway, in preparation for the expected surge in traffic when the city hosts the 2008 Summer Olympics. The company did not specify the value of the deal. The project requires that ECI supply Beijing Subway with its optical transmission solution to expand its network capabilities for video monitoring, surveillance and safety in the subway system. ECI will implement its XDM Multi-Service Provisioning Platform (MSPP) on Line 1 and Line 2 of the Beijing Subway, including 47 stations and covering 100km. Additional deployments were expected to follow in other Chinese cities in the near future. Shares in Mercury Interactive Corporation Ltd.were delisted from the Nasdaq National Market and started trading on the Pink Sheets Wednesday. The exchange made the move after it was told by Mercury on December 27, that "because of the significant volume of work involved in completing its financial restatements," the company would not be able to meet the January 3 deadline set by the exchange to fulfill all the NASDAQ listing requirements. Standard and Poor's said that as a result of the delisting, Mercury would be removed from the S&P 500. Estee Lauder Companies Ltd. will replace Mercury on the Index. Ra'anana-based Retalix reaffirmed its previous 2005 guidance saying it anticipates net income for the year would exceed $15.5m. and annual revenue would top $190m. The guidance comes ahead of its fourth quarter earnings release scheduled for February 21, 2006. Wireless broadband solutions provider Alvarion Ltd. and its Finnish distribution partner Daimler Finland said two Finnet Group operators have started deployment of a WiMAX network using Alvarion's BreezeMAX 3500. Savonlinnan Puhelin (SPY) and Mikkelin Puhelin (MPY) will offer broadband data services to permanent residents and the large influx of summer tourists in the Saimaa Lake District, in the South Savo region of southeast Finland. Consulting companies Trigger-Foresight, of Tel Aviv, and Prisma Consulting, from Finland, are collaborating to help Israeli telecommunications companies penetrate the Scandinavian market. The consultants will offer outsourced business development services to Israeli telecoms, focusing on the Scandinavian market. Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. completed an investment of $3.7m. in end point security solutions company Safend Ltd. out of an aggregate financing round of $7.4m. The two Tel Aviv companies did not provide further details of the investment.

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