NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Atmel (ATML) were gaining 7.6% to $8.11 on heavy trading volume Thursday after the chipmaker beat analysts' estimates for earnings and revenue in the first quarter.

Atmel reported earnings of 11 cents a share for the first quarter, beating analysts' estimates of 9 cents a share for the quarter. Revenue fell 6.1% year over year to $316.9 million for the quarter, but above analysts' estimates of $315.23 million.

The company said it expects to report revenue of $310 million to $326 million for the second quarter, below analysts' estimates of $336.8 million.

Atmel also announced that CEO Steve Laub will retire from his position and step down from the board of directors on August 31. The board will start searching for a successor for Laub, who served as CEO since 2006.

About 8.1 million shares of Atmel were traded by noon Thursday. above the company's average trading volume of about 4.6 million shares a day.

TheStreet Ratings team rates ATMEL CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ATMEL CORP (ATML) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ATML Ratings Report

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