Tower sees 40% revenue growth in Q1 2012

2011 revenue rose 20% to $611 million, and net profit rose to $156 million.

Specialty foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq: TSEM; TASE: TSEM) reported double-digit growth, well above the industry average, for the fourth quarter and full-year of 2011, and predicts 40% revenue growth for the first quarter of 2012.

Full-year revenue rose 20% to $611 million from $509 million in 2010, and more than double its $299 million revenue in 2009. GAAP-based net loss more than halved to $19 million ($0.06 per share) in 2011 from $42 million in 2010, and non-GAAP net profit rose to $156 million from $138 million.

Fourth quarter revenue rose 29% to $174.6 million from $135.1 million for the corresponding quarter of 2010. GAAP-based net loss was $17 million ($0.05 per share) for the fourth quarter, and non-GAAP net profit was $34 million.

In its guidance, Tower forecasts $165-175 million revenue in the first quarter 2012, 40% more than in the corresponding quarter of 2011.

Cash flow from operations totaled $30 million in the fourth quarter and $108 million in 2011, and it had $101 million in cash at the end of the year. The company reduced its debt to $350 million at the end of 2011 from $482 million a year earlier, through bond buybacks and paring down its bank debt.

Tower CEO Russell Ellwanger said that the company doubled its wafer capacity compared with 2010, and that the company was operationally preparing for a strong second half, on the basis of indications from top customers.

Tower chairman Amir Elstein said, "In only a few years, the company has cemented a substantial lead as the specialty foundry market leader, with strategic tier one customers in high growth, high margin analog segments."

Tower's share price fell 1.3% in morning trading on the TASE today to NIS 3.33, after rising 4.8% on Nasdaq yesterday to $0.88, giving a market cap of $277 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 16, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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