* Q1 adjusted net profit $6.5 mln vs $32 mln a year ago
* Q1 revenue $113 mln vs $168 mln
* Forecasts Q2 revenue $122-$132 mln
By Tova Cohen
TEL AVIV, May 9 Chipmaker TowerJazz
expects demand for tablet computers and the growing use of chips
in appliances like washing machines to drive quarter-on-quarter
revenue growth for the rest of this year after a fall in the
The Israel-based company, which has submitted a bid with two
partners to build a semiconductor plant in India, also said on
Thursday it had been advised a decision would be made by the
government in the next few weeks.
"We don't have assurances of having won anything," Chief
Executive Russell Ellwanger said, adding he would meet India's
information technology minister next week during a visit to
TowerJazz, which makes chips used in smartphones like
Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy models
as well as battery chargers and AC/DC adapters, has submitted a
bid with Indian infrastructure company Jaypee and an
unnamed technology firm, which Indian media say is IBM.
TowerJazz posted first-quarter net profit excluding one-time
items of $6.5 million, down from $32 million a year earlier as
revenue fell to $113 million from $168 million. That compared
with the company's own revenue forecast of $110-120 million.
TowerJazz said the revenue decline was short term and in
line with its supply agreement with Micron Technology,
which sold its plant in Nishiwaki, Japan, to TowerJazz in 2011.
It forecast revenue of $122 million to $132 million in the
second quarter, with the mid-range of this outlook representing
13 percent growth over the first quarter.
Ellwanger projected quarter-over-quarter growth throughout
the year, which he said would be "meaningful".
"I'm not talking one or two percent," he said.
In the past few quarters, TowerJazz has faced a
decline in sales of its discrete components - chips that are not
integrated circuits - as consumers opt to buy tablets instead of
more expensive and larger personal computers. Tablet makers use
fewer discretes, which take up a relatively large area.
But Ellwanger said the discretes business was starting to
recover, helped by the fact that people upgrade tablets more
frequently than PCs and by the expansion of discretes into
larger consumer goods, where they can help cut power usage.
"In the second quarter we're moving close to our forecasted
numbers and the third quarter promises to hit forecasted
numbers. That's a very promising sign," he said.
TowerJazz shares were down 1.4 percent to 23 shekels in
midday trade in Tel Aviv.