NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Atmel Corp. (ATML) are higher by 2.05% to $9.95 in pre-market trading on Tuesday morning, as the semiconductor maker's stock continues a rise it began on Monday following speculation the company is exploring a sale.

Atmel is said to be looking into its strategic options, which includes the possibility of a sale, sources told Reuters.

Smaller semiconductor companies have become attractive acquisition targets for larger companies in the industry as they look to expand their abilities with chips for cars, watches, and other devices that interact with one another, Reuters added.

The company is said to be working with the investment bank Qatalyst Partners as it explores its options.

Atmel's CEO Steve Laub announced in May that he will be retiring in August. Reuters sources suggest that the CEO's departure is a contributing factor to the company's decision to research its alternatives.

Insight from TheStreet Research Team:

Atmel Corp. is a core holding of David Peltier's Stocks Under $10 Portfolio. During the most recent weekly roundup, this is what Dave had to say about the stock:

The company makes microcontrollers used in electronics. The shares added 6% to recent gains this week on speculation of continued consolidation in the semiconductor sector. We believe that management can continue to expand margins in the coming quarters. In the meantime, we'll qualify for the next quarterly dividend of $0.06 per share (1.7% yield) at the close of trading on June 10.

-David Peltier 'Stocks Under $10 Weekly Roundup' Originally Published on 6/5/2015 ON Stocks Under $10.

Want more like this from David BEFORE your stock moves? Learn more about Stocks Under $10 now!

Separately, 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall."

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