Wednesday’s ETF To Watch: iShares MSCI Israel Fund (EIS)

by on May 11, 2011 | ETFs Mentioned:

The last few weeks have been incredibly volatile in U.S. markets. Though major indexes have been trending upwards for the majority of 2011, last week saw a major blip in performance as commodities, namely oil and silver, took a nose dive bringing down equities across the board. The major sell off was due to an unexpected jump in jobless claims, as well as a reasonably stronger dollar, which was then followed by an unexpected dip in unemployment, helping to correct markets from their tailspin. This week will have its sights set on the closing days of earnings season as bellwether firms from around the world shed light on their most recent quarter’s performance [see also First Trust Wins Auto ETF Race, Debuts CARZ].

Today, prior to market open, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) will release their quarterly earnings report. Teva is primarily concerned with generic drugs and creating cheaper alternatives to some of today’s most popular drugs. This company has been able to feed off of the giant patent cliffs that major companies like Johnson & Johnson have been facing, turning this once profitable drugs for big pharma into products of its own. Teva is the tenth largest firm by market capitalization on the NASDAQ and is based in Petah Tikva, Israel. The company has been very active with acquisitions over the last few years as it just announced a plans to purchase biopharmaceutical company, Cephalon, for a whopping $6.8 billion.

Analysts are calling for the company to report EPS of $1.04 with revenues of approximately $4.3 billion. Last quarter, the company missed its marks, disappointing investors as it had surpassed its predictions for the three quarters prior. As we have seen with many major firms during earnings reports, strong or weak numbers can be completely overshadowed by guidance for the company’s future. As more and more major pharma firms come to grips with the star drugs coming off patent, Teva will be the company to swoop in and undercut, which may provide for a strong guidance for the near future [see also Middle East ETFs Under Pressure As Protests Intensify].

With this major earnings announcement on tap, today’s ETF to watch will be the iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index (EIS). This fund seeks to replicate the performance of the Israeli equity market, and holds Teva as its top security, delegating over 23% of its assets to this company. From a sector standpoint, this fund strays from the norm by overweighting the Health Care and Basic Materials sectors, where most funds in fellow quasi-developed markets grant the most weight to financials and energy firms instead. EIS has lost over 5% on the year while paying out a dividend yield of 2.53%. If Teva misses its marks tomorrow, look for the fund to take a hit, but strong numbers or guidance could make for a solid trading day for EIS [see also April ETF Data: Assets Set Record, EEM Strikes Back].

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Disclosure: Photo courtesy of David Richfield. No positions at time of writing.