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Morgan Stanley Hikes Atmel Target To $12, Notes 'Strategic Value' In Shares


In a report published Wednesday, Morgan Stanley analyst Craig Hettenbach maintained an Overweight rating on Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML), while raising the price target from $9 to $12 to better reflect the company's "strategic value."

"Atmel has reduced costs this year to offset a drop in legacy sales and sensor hub. That said, the company's spending on SG&A is still considerably above peers at 19% of sales (including stock-based comp) vs. 13.5%. As the company's revenue growth improves (with help of lapping legacy sales hit and buoyed by growth in 32-bit MCUs and connectivity), we expect to see attractive operating leverage in the model," analyst Craig Hettenbach wrote.

The recent semi mergers – Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ: AVGO) with LSI Corp (NASDAQ: LSI), TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ: TQNT) with RF Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: RFMD) and Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: CY) with Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE) – have outlined substantial opex, which makes a case for scale and operational efficiencies.

Hettenbach added, "…any M&A involving Atmel theoretically could accelerate the company's path to higher margins. For instance, we estimate SG&A as a % of sales could be reduced by 550 bp, R&D by 80 bp and GM improved by 250 bp, netting to $0.27 in incremental EPS power in the model. This would take our Non-GAAP EPS estimate of $0.65 in CY16 to $0.92."

"While tempting to move to the sidelines after the sharp rally in ATML, we remain Overweight as increasing M&A in semis sheds favorable light on the company's MCU franchise and IoT assets. We see an attractive skew in potential stock returns, with an upside to downside ratio of 2:1," Hettenbach said.

Latest Ratings for ATML

Jan 2016MaintainsNeutral
Jan 2016DowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Oct 2015

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