Why Tower Semiconductor May Have a Compelling Stock

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Tower Semiconductor (TSEM) -- an Israeli chip maker that does business under the brand name of TowerJazz -- have been on the upswing ahead the company's second-quarter earnings release, which is scheduled for Aug. 4.

Since Wednesday, when TowerJazz announced the timing of the release, its stock has risen more than 10% on heavy volume. The stock rose 14% rise on Wednesday after Ascendant Capital Markets set a $24 price target. One report suggested that the rise was in relation to a positive earnings report from chip industry giant Intel (INTC). 

Shares of Tower have doubled year to date, compared with a 6% rise for the Nasdaq Composite Index.

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The stock -- which changed hands at $11.35, down 16 cents, on Tuesday morning -- traded as high as over $500 in its early days a publicly traded company in the mid-1990s and fell to less than $2 a share during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. The company had a 15-for-1 reverse stock split in 2012.  

Things are looking up for Tower. The company is expected to report second-quarter earnings of 42 cents per share, compared with earnings of 36 cents a year ago. Revenue for the quarter is expected to reach $225 million, up from $133 million a year earlier.

Earnings are projected to be $1.71 per share for this year and $2.46 per share for next year. That means the stock is trading less than 10 times forward earnings.

The catalyst for Tower's growth is a joint venture with Japanese electronics giant Panasonic (PCRFY). which closed in April. Under the joint venture, in which Tower has a 51% stake, Tower is making chips for Panasonic to be used in cars and digital products.

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