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8 Small-Cap Semiconductors With Upside: Analysts


7. Photronics (PLAB) engages in the manufacture of photomasks, which are precision photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. Photomasks are a key component in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat-panel displays (FPDs), and are used as masters to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel substrates. As of year-end 2010, PLAB operated mainly from nine manufacturing facilities.

Of the six analysts covering the stock, 67% recommend it as a buy and 17% say it's a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 31.2% to $10.8 in the upcoming 12 months.

The company is scheduled to release its second-quarter 2011 quarterly earnings on May 16, 2011. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect PLAB to record revenue of $119.6 million, as compared to $105.07 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net income for the quarter is seen at $10.26 million, or 17 cents per share, as compared to $4.72 million, or 14 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin is pegged at 25.17%, up 20% from the year-ago period. Operating profit for the quarter is expected at $15.65 million as compared to $7.62 million in the same quarter of the prior year, thereby improving margins appreciably.

For full-year 2011, the company expects capital expenditure of $75 million to $90 million, revenue between $117 million and $121 million, and earnings per share of 15 cents to 18 cents. For the longer term, the company plans to achieve 15% operating margin.

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