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Israel's Tower Semiconductor profit jumps amid pending sale to Intel

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FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Tower Semiconductor
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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Tower Semiconductor on Thursday reported a higher than expected rise in quarterly profit, days after Intel Corp said it planned to buy the Israeli chipmaker.

The company, previously called TowerJazz, earned diluted earnings per share of 55 cents excluding one-time items in the fourth quarter, up from 34 cents a year earlier. Revenue rose 19% to $412 million, with organic growth up 28%.

Chipmakers are seeing a surge in demand as economies recover more quickly than expected from the pandemic, with some sectors, such as automaking, reporting shortages.

Tower was forecast to earn EPS of 46 cents on revenue of $425 million, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

For all of 2021, Tower earned an adjusted $1.37 per diluted share, versus 76 cents in 2020. Revenue gained 19% to $1.51 billion. Analysts had forecast EPS ex-one offs of $1.53 on revenue of $1.51 billion.

Tower, which specialises in analogue chips used in cars, medical sensors and power management, has said it would invest in equipment at its manufacturing sites in Israel, Texas and Japan to boost capacity for 200 and 300 millimetre chips.

Intel on Tuesday said it would buy Tower for $53 a share, or $5.4 billion to give it access to more specialised production as it positions to take advantage of the soaring semiconductor demand.

Tower typically issues a quarterly outlook but it said it would not due to the deal, which is expected to close in about 12 months.

Tower's shares have risen more than 40% since Intel's announcement.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Michael Urquhart)