What happened

Shares of Himax Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:HIMX) jumped 34.6% in November, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the fabless semiconductor manufacturer reported its third quarter 2017 results, which beat analysts' consensus estimates for both earnings and revenue.

So what

Himax's top line hit $197.1 million in the quarter, which was toward the high-end of the company's own guidance and surpassed analysts' consensus estimate of $191.3 million. The company also brought in non-GAAP net income of $9 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, which surpassed the company's own guidance and also bested Wall Street's estimate of $0.04.

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Himax CEO Jordan Wu said in a press release that, "Despite the decline in the first half in our business, we delivered solid results in the third quarter, achieving both top and bottom line growth across all three major product categories."

One of those product categories -- the company's non-driver segment -- was of particular importance to investors in November because it includes Himax's wafer-level optics (WLO) sales to Apple. Himax's WLO chips help make Apple's iPhone X facial recognition possible and it could represent a growing opportunity for Himax.

Speaking about WLO shipments (likely to Apple) Wu said, "We expect shipment to the same customer to accelerate significantly into the fourth quarter and beyond. In parallel, we are working on several new development projects with the same customer for their future generation products."

Apple is expected to bring facial recognition to its iPad Pro product line soon and this is likely a reference to how Himax's WLO products could help make that happen.

Non-driver revenue now accounts for nearly 28% of Himax's total revenue, up from 21.5% in the year ago quarter. And with the company looking to more WLO sales in the fourth quarter and beyond it could help push the company's top line up further.

Now what

Himax expects its fourth-quarter revenue to decline 4% to 10% sequentially, but for non-GAAP earnings per share to be between $0.13 and $0.15, compared to $0.05 in the third quarter. Himax appears to be in solid shape heading into the fourth quarter and its deals with Apple will hopefully keep the company's WLO sales going.

Aside from that, investors should also keep an eye on the company's new partnership with Qualcomm to bring 3D sensing technology to Android devices as well. Himax is looking to mass produce and ship the tech by the end of the first-quarter 2018. That could help spur even more top line growth for Himax and should further strengthen investor sentiment for the company's stock.

Chris Neiger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm and has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.