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8 Small-Cap Semiconductors With Upside: Analysts

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International team expects impressive growth this year in the worldwide semiconductor market. This global association pegs growth at 5% to 10% in 2011 on $316 billion in sales. SEMI says most of this growth is based on surging demand for tablets and smartphones as well as rebounding consumer confidence. Tablet sales are likely to swell to 200 million devices sold in 2011 from 20 million in 2010.

Meanwhile, global chip sales expanded 8.6% to $75.8 billion during the first quarter of 2011, driven by higher U.S. sales, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association, or SIA.

These eight small-cap stocks from the semiconductor and semiconductor components (integrated circuits) industries have either released their latest quarterly earnings, or are scheduled to release them next week. They each have market capitalizations under $1 billion.

Based on the strong quarterly results reported, or expected, and an optimistic outlook for the upcoming quarter and full year, these stocks have upside potential of between 11% and 87%, with a mean of 44%, based on analysts' consensus estimates polled by Bloomberg.

The stocks are stacked based on upside, great to greatest.

8. Himax Technologies (HIMX), a holding company, operating through its subsidiary, designs, develops and markets semiconductors that are critical components of flat-panel displays. The company's principal products are display drivers for large-sized, thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display panels, and display drivers for small- and medium-sized TFT-LCD panels. It also offers display drivers for panels using organic, light-emitting diode technology and LTPS technology.

Of the four analysts covering the stock, 25% assign it a buy rating, while 50% rate it a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 10.9% to $2.6 in the upcoming 12 months.

First-quarter 2011 revenue was in line with the guidance at $141.1 million. Gross margin increased 30 basis points on a year-over-year basis to 20.1%. The small- and medium-sized applications segment recorded significant growth momentum during the quarter, with revenue rising 28.9% year-over-year to $59.6 million. In fact, the segment accounted for 42.3% of total revenue as compared to 26.4% in the year-ago quarter.

For the second quarter of 2011, the company expects 10% to 15% sequential revenue growth, while GAAP earnings per share are seen in the range of 2 cents to 3 cents. On the down side, Himax expects gross margin to narrow by 1% to 1.5%, fueled by increased shipments of IC products with low-to-medium margins. The company does, however, target higher margins in the third and fourth quarters.

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