Teva, Israel’s natual stock for all.

Read about an Israeli share portfolio, and very quickly you will meet up with Teva. It is Israel’s third largest global corporation. Once Obama’s health legislation kicks in, Teva is expected to benefit from a “stampede” of new customers. And so on.

In Hebrew, the word “teva” means nature. Just what is so special about this company? What has turned it from a hick-town importer of drugs in to the world’s eleventh largest pharma in just four decades?

One answer has to be leadership. The CEO is Shlomo Yanai, one of the few top generals to have crossed over successfully from the military to the private sector. For health reasons, Eli Hurwitz has just stepped down as President, after who knows how many years in the job. And the swop over has been managed smoothly so far.

A second reason has been an ability to grow through acquisition. Teva specialises in the generic drug market. Identifying new opportunities, from operating 18 factories in 1990, Teva now has 59 plants.

Clearly, growth has enabled it to secure a greater international standing. Teva operates in over 120 countries. Estimates register that every day, 2,500 prescriptions are issued with one of its products.

Another factor is the way Teva relates to human resources. For example, during 2009, when the average wage in Israel fell 2.8%, the Teva salary bill rose by 7%. 6,000 of its 40,000 employees are located in Israel. 

The bottom line is that during the 2009 credit crisis, total revenues climbed by 29%. Annual sales are worth around US$59 billion.

I do not have a position in Teva, but you can understand why the share may be a ready alternative for many investors.

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