Israeli chipmaker Tower first-quarter profit slightly tops estimates

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli chip manufacturer Tower Semiconductor TSEM.TA beat quarterly profit estimates by a cent and said the company was not experiencing any interruptions to its ongoing manufacturing despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Tower TSEM.O, which specialises in analogue chips used in cars, medical sensors and power management, posted on Wednesday diluted earnings per share excluding one-time items of 20 cents in the first quarter, down from 30 cents a year earlier. Revenue slipped to $300 million from $310 million, mainly due to a renewed contract with Panasonic last year.

Formerly called TowerJazz, the company was forecast to earn adjusted EPS of 19 cents on revenue of $297.6 million, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

Its shares jumped 8% in late Tel Aviv trade compared with a decline of 0.8% in the blue chip TA-35 .TA35 index.

“We remain proactive on all fronts with respect to the health and safety of our employees, operational and supply chain management and our customers with an even increased communication,” CEO Russell Ellwanger said.

“Updated customer forecasts continue to show quarter over quarter growth through the year.”

Tower expects second-quarter revenue in a range of 5% above or below $310 million. Analysts are forecasting $308 million in revenue.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Ari Rabinovitch and Steven Scheer