While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a closer look at particularly stock-shaking analyst upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.
What: Shares of Synaptics, Incorporated (NASDAQ:SYNA) gained slightly Friday morning after the touchscreen technologist posted strong Q3 results and received a buy-to-strong buy upgrade from Needham & Company.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Rajvindra Gill boosted his price target to $100 (from $70), representing about 55% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarian traders might be turned off by Synaptics' price surge over the past year, Gill's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that its growth potential still isn't fully baked into the valuation.
Now what: According to Needham, Synaptics' risk/reward remains particularly attractive. "SYNA posted a significant beat and raise qrt owing to substantial momentum in fingerprint and ongoing strength in its core touch biz," said Gill. "Over the next 12-24 months, we forecast the fingerprint business could add $2.50-$3.00 of incremental EPS, combined with $3.50-$4 EPS from core touch. Over the past 2.5 years, SYNA has transformed itself: growing from $598MM in sales in FY11 to a projected $1.15BN in FY15." More importantly, with Synaptics trading at a reasonable forward P/E of 15 and boasting a rock-solid balance sheet, the downside might still be limited enough to bet on that bullishness.
Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.