LONDON – Specialty foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd., which trades as TowerJazz, improved its cash position as of March 31, 2012 to $158 million, up from $101 million at the fourth quarter of 2011.
The cash benefit came as the company increased sales substantially versus a year before but saw them dip compared with 4Q11. The company continues to have long-term debt which also increased from $301 million at the end of 2011 to $385 million at the end of 1Q12.
The 1Q12 sales revenue at Tower (Migdal Haemek, Israel) was $168.0 million, up 39 percent year-over-year as compared with $120.6 million. Sales were down 3.8 percent from $174.6 million in 4Q11 but came in slightly below the mid-point of previous guidance.
The company made a non-GAAP net profit of $32 million but a GAAP net loss of $19 million compared with a net loss of $17 million in the previous quarter.
Tower's outlook for 2Q12 is for sales to nein the range between $163 million and $173 million. The mid-point is flat with the current quarter but would represent 20 percent growth compared with 2Q11.
"We continue to see increases in market share, as evidenced by significantly outperforming the foundry industry in first quarter year-over-year growth," said Russell Ellwanger, CEO of Tower, in a statement. "In Korea alone we have grown from one image sensor customer in 2010 to over 40 active engagements. Hence, we are well positioned to take major benefit from an industry uptick, as far as market share and doubled capacity, as compared to first quarter 2011, to meet demand."
Tower added that it continues to work in a consortium to pro-actively address the Indian government's process for establishing a 300-mm wafer fab in the country. A final decision is expected in 2012.