New Growth Engines Make Camtek a Promising Play

| About: Camtek Ltd. (CAMT)

Apparently, it is when you set an especially high "wall of worry" in front of US stock markets that they reach the best returns. Recall that In the summer, immediately after we ended the World Cup month happy and satisfied, Roubini and friends returned to the media's center stage, and threatened us with various economic catastrophes which would hit us in the fall. And here we are in November, and what hit us in the fall was an unprecedented rally of up to 20%, and precisely in those infamous months of September and October.

The highest return in those two months, with 20%, was at the Nasdaq 100 Index, after it turned out that high flyers Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), or even duller names like Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), reported strong earnings. The technology gorillas earnings puzzle will be completed after hours on Wednesday-- when Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) reports, and next Wednesday when Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) reports -- the first to report a quarter ending October 31.

The first trading week of November will be marked by "triple witching" - not because of any options expiring, but because of three major events that are set to direct the stock, bond, and currency market roller coaster: US mid-term elections, Wednesday's Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement, and Friday's employment report for October.

Camtek Ltd. (Nasdaq: CAMT) is expected to report strong third quarter results this Thursday. It is also expected to provide guidance for the trend to continue in the fourth quarter as well, based on its reports over the course of the quarter about wins in the semiconductor inspection equipment sector.

This will be the first quarter for new CEO Roy Porat, who entered the job in August, though he has filled management roles at the company since 2001.

Camtek is expected to report revenue of $22.7 million, and earnings per share (EPS) of $0.06, and to guide toward continued significant growth in the last quarter of the year. Like Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd. (Nasdaq:NVM), 2011 earnings -- forecast to be $0.40 per share by investment house Chardan -- places the share at a very low multiple of less than 7 today, based on its share price earlier this week of $2.60.

Camtek has two new growth engines for the coming year, because it took advantage of the recent crisis when it bought two very promising local companies at low prices. It bought Printar, which makes and sells systems and inks for the printed circuit board (PCB) industry, and semiconductor sample preparation equipment maker SELA (Semiconductor Engineering Laboratories Ltd.).

It looks like Printar will develop in the future into a successful company on its own, if and when it matures in terms of technology and sales, and the forecast is that this will happen over the course of the next year.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on November 2, 2010 Reprinted on Seeking Alpha with permission © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010