Investors are on the edges of their seats, hoping that Synaptics (Nasdaq: SYNA) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, Jan. 26. Synaptics targets the personal computer, or PC, market and the market for digital lifestyle products, including mobile smartphones and feature phones, portable digital music and video players, and other select electronic device markets.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Half of analysts think investors should stand pat on Synaptics. Analysts like Synaptics better than competitor Logitech International overall. One out of four analysts rate Logitech International SA (USA a buy compared to five of 12 for Synaptics. Analysts still rate the stock a hold, but they are a bit more wary about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $145.4 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 8.9% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.41 per share. Estimates range from $0.28 to $0.47.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 95.9% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 95.9% assigning it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about Synaptics and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 284 posts in the past 30 days. Even with a robust four out of five stars, Synaptics' CAPS rating falls a little short of the community's upbeat outlook.

Management:
Revenue has fallen in the past two quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters. 

Quarter Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2
Gross Margin 45.9% 42.3% 40.5% 40.8%
Operating Margin 12.2% 11.4% 10.1% 12.2%
Net Margin 9.8% 9.7% 9.5% 11.1%

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