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Wasn't the semiconductor cycle supposed to be coming to an end by now? Vishay Intertechnology Inc. (VSH - Snapshot Report) isn't showing any signs of slowing as it recently surprised for the fifth quarter in a row.

This Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) has its hands in most of the semiconductor markets as it manufactures discrete semiconductors including diodes, MOSFETs and infrared optoelectronics as well as passive electronic components which are used in all types of electronic devices including in autos, computing, aerospace, and telecommunications.

Vishay Beats For the Fifth Consecutive Time

On Feb 8, Vishay reported fourth quarter results and surprised by 9.1%. Earnings per share were 48 cents compared to the estimate of 44 cents. The company made just 16 cents in the year ago quarter.

Revenue rose 13.4% to $688.6 million from $607 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company's automotive customers boosted the quarter with strong demand for passive components in Europe.

Is the Semiconductor Cycle Ending Soon?

The company gave a very bullish revenue outlook for the first quarter of 2011 of between $675 million and $715 million, which is similar to the levels of the fourth quarter.

In 2010 it reached new levels of profitability. For now, it continues to see a continuation of the strong business climate of 2010 but is prepared if a slowdown should occur.

Zacks Consensus Estimates Rise

For 2011, the analysts are conceding that there may not be an end to the cycle. They project earnings growth of about 20% as the Zacks Consensus Estimate has jumped to $1.89 from $1.67 per share in the last 30 days.

The story is different for 2012. No one is willing to go out on the limb that far in advance, apparently. Earnings growth is a paltry 0.8%. But the Zacks Consensus has risen to $1.91 from $1.82 per share.

Vishay Is Still Cheap

Vishay continues to have attractive valuations even as shares trade at 5 year highs.

It is trading at just 9.7x forward estimates, which is well under the S&P 500 average of 14.5.

Vishay also has a price-to-book ratio of only 2.0, well under the 3.0 cut-off for "value" stocks.

In addition, the company's return on equity (ROE) is a stellar 19.5%.

Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor in charge of the market-beating Zacks Value Trader service. You can follow her at twitter.com/traceyryniec.

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