Atmel: Recent Market Pullback Presents an Opportunity

by: Kinetic Investments

Since my last take on Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) the company's stock advanced nearly 21%, only to find its first real resistance of the year at $16.80. That 52 week high was struck just four trading days after the company announced its Q4 2010 results and issued Q1 2011 guidance above analysts' estimates.

During the month that followed, the stock went on to endure what many have considered to be an unjustified and overdone 35% sell-off, trading as low as $10.70 on 03/17/11. From a technical standpoint, the last two weeks have shown investors "oversold" levels not seen since mid 2010.

What happened?

ATML, its sector, and the market as a whole have suffered since the trading week that ended on 02/18/11. Political unrest, ongoing global economic and debt concerns, and the most recent Japanese tsunami-crisis-turned-nuclear-incident seem to have collectively caused the market to pull its head back into its shell long enough to allow for an overall market correction of about 6%, largely due to profit taking.

Over the course of this recent market sell-off there have been many overreactions to take advantage of. Atmel's sell-off, in particular, has presented long term value hunters with an arguably overdue and certainly compelling opportunity, as the company's fundamentals have not weakened any and 79% of the float is already in institutional hands.

In complement to the few feathers in Atmel's rapidly filling cap that I chose to identify in my last article and all of the positive information detailed during its most recent and upbeat conference call, the company continues its efforts to establish solid footing as a global leader in an industry that is just entering the second phase of the life and business transforming smart-device revolution, as second generation tablet devices are now flying off the shelves nearly as quickly as they can be stocked.

On 02/14/11 the company announced that it had entered into a collaboration agreement with Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ:NVDA). By combining their products and technologies, they plan to produce large touchscreen solutions (up to 15”) for smartphones and tablet devices, among other applications.

On 03/23/11, Atmel announced in a press release that LG Electronics Mobile selected Atmel's maXTouch solution for use in its mobile devices. Most notably, Atmel's product will be used in the LG (OTC:LGERF) Mobile G-Slate device, which is an 8.9” tablet that runs Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system. This appears to be the first fruit borne of the aforementioned Nvidia collaboration.

According to Nielsen, smartphone market penetration should finally overtake that of the "feature phone" in the U.S. by the end of this year. Forrester Research has predicted that as many as 82M consumers could own a tablet device by the end of 2015. In a time when companies are only beginning to equip their entire outside sales forces with smartphones for communications and tablet devices for presentations, I am happy to increase my exposure to this company (especially so at around $12/share).

I see Atmel's overdone sell-off as a gift and plan to take advantage of any more, if presented.

Disclosure: I am long ATML.