Why Synaptics Shares Jumped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Touch-interface technology maker Synaptics (Nasdaq: SYNA  ) was up more than 13% this morning after beating analyst estimates, reversing an after-hours slide that came after the company's forward guidance came in below expectations. The company posted non-GAAP EPS of $0.54, besting analyst estimates by $0.03. GAAP earnings per share were $0.36 due to one-time items. Revenue also narrowly bested analysts' expectations, coming in at $137.6 million versus consensus estimates of $136.2 million.

So what: Synaptics also announced two acquisitions, of Pacinian Corp. and of the video display segment of Integrated Device Technology (Nasdaq: IDTI  ) . These could bolster the company against macroeconomic weakness, but its projections seem to say otherwise.

Synaptics' forward guidance is still cause for concern. The company expects weak touchpad demand from major laptop makers like Lenovo, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) , and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) to result in first-quarter revenue of $120 million to $128 million, well below consensus estimates of $140.4 million. Full-year results also came in weaker across the board, with 2012 revenue at $548.2 million versus $598.5 million last year, and net income at $54.1 million against 2011's total profit of $63.8 million.

Now what: It's tough to call this bounce warranted. Unless Synaptics can find a new source of strength in the post-PC world, there's little reason why this optimism should last. At 17.6, Synaptics' P/E is twice that of either Dell or HP, so buying in now would require belief in the company's ability to diversify into more popular mobile devices.

Want more news and updates? Add Synaptics to your watchlist now.

Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more news and insights. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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