STMicroelectronics (STM) - Get Report , a supplier of semiconductors to major electronics players including Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Cisco Systems (CSCO) - Get Report , is expected to report a 2016 profit surge thanks to robust demand for smartphone, automotive, and Internet of Things products, as well as boosts from a newly acquired business.
The Geneva, Switzerland-based company is scheduled to release earnings results for the year ended December at 0600 GMT Thursday.
A consensus of 27 analysts compiled by FactSet expects net income of €99 million ($106 million) on sales of €1.73 billion for the three months ended December, soaring from a bottom line of €2 million on sales of €1.54 billion for the same period a year earlier. For the full year, analysts expect net income to jump 59% to €153 million on a 2.8% sales increase to €6.53 billion.
Analysts also estimate gross margin of around 36.8% for the fourth quarter, in line with the company's estimate of "37.0% plus or minus 2.0 percentage points".
President Carlo Bozotti told TheStreet.com in October that he wants to be "more present" in flagship smartphones, an area where giants such as Apple, Samsung (SSNLF) , and China's Huawei compete, but where smaller players are also gaining presence.
In addition to smartphones, Bozotti also noted positive trends in the automotive and industrial areas, and that the company's strategic focus on smart driving and Internet of Things would likely result in revenue growth in 2016, notably for automotive, specialized image sensors and microcontrollers.
In July, STMicroelectronics acquired the near-field and radio-frequency identification business of Austrian chipmaker AMS for $114 million in a move aimed at bolstering microcontroller products for mobile devices, wearables, automotive, Internet of Things, among other applications.
Investors will be looking at the company's outlook for the coming years, with focus on its source of growth and market share. For 2017, analysts estimate the biggest growth to come from the automotive & discrete group segment.
Time-of-Flight sensors for smartphones, EyeQ3 and EyeQ4 processors co-developed with Israeli-based driver assistance system maker Mobileye (MBLY) , and automotive semiconductors are among the likely drivers in the coming year, according Liberum Capital analyst Janardan Menon. Menon has raised his target price for STMicroelectronics to €13.4.
STMicroelectronics' major customers also include Bosch (BSWQY) , Delta (DAL) - Get Report , HP (HPQ) - Get Report , Seagate (STX) - Get Report and WesternDigital (WDC) - Get Report , according to its filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
STMicroelectronics shares have surged 85% in the past 12 months. The stock edged up 0.05% to €10.86 at noon GMT.
(Cisco Systems and Apple are held in Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of his holdings here.)