Synaptics: Faces and Fingerprints

12/22/2017 5:00 am EST


Taesik Yoon

Editor, Forbes Investor and Forbes Special Situation Survey

After falling as much as 6.4% to start December, shares of Synaptics (SYNA) abruptly reversed course and are now up 7.2% for the month, observes Taesik Yoon, editor of Forbes Investor

This turnaround was initially triggered by an upgrade by an analyst from Oppenheimer who raised his rating to Perform from Underperform (essentially equivalent to an increase from a Sell rating to a Hold). 

But the bigger catalyst for the stock’s upward move was likely the positive presentation the company gave at its Analyst Day held on December 12. 

SYNA outlined a clear strategy to leverage its market-leading expertise in display technologies to pursue opportunities in those areas offering the biggest potential for growth, such as in-display fingerprint solutions, OLED displays and the internet-of-things (IoT). 

This was backed by the concurrent announcement that the company has begun mass producing its impressive Clear ID FS9500 family of optical in-display fingerprint sensors for a top five OEM customer. 

Specifically designed for smartphones with infinity displays, such as those found on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Apple’s iPhone X flagship devices launched this year, these sensors are integrated into a phone’s display and activate when needed. 

This allows for faster authentication compared to alternative biometrics, such as 3D facial recognition, without the need for a separate dedicated button or sensor that can take up valuable space. 

Further execution of this growth strategy could continue to build investor confidence and help sustain this recent rally in SYNA’s stock.

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