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Why Shares of Analog Devices Are Surging Today

By Timothy Green – Mar 30, 2015 at 12:18PM

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A possible design win with Apple prompts Barclays to upgrade the stock.

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: Shares of Analog Devices (ADI -1.80%) soared on Monday after Barclays upgraded the stock on the belief that the company's products will be used to enable Apple's recently announced Force Touch feature in upcoming devices. As of 11:45 Monday morning, the stock was up nearly 10%.

So what: Apple introduced Force Touch, a technology that allows different results based on how hard a user presses on a screen or touchpad, earlier this year, and it's already being used in the Apple Watch as well as the new 12" MacBook. The Wall Street Journal reported a few weeks ago that the next iPhone will also support the technology.

One type of integrated circuit required for Force Touch is an analog-to-digital converter, which takes an analog signal, in this case resulting from the user pressing on the screen, and converts it to a digital signal that can be used by the software. Barclays believes that Analog Devices has secured a place for its high-accuracy converters in Apple's upcoming iPhone and iPad lineup.

Barclays puts the impact for Analog Devices at $0.80 per share of additional EPS during 2016, stating that Analog Devices has the best converters in the industry, and that Apple should be willing to pay for quality.

Now what: An $0.80 boost to EPS would be significant for Analog Devices. Analysts are expecting 2016 non-GAAP EPS to come in at $3.21 per share, and this Apple deal, if it turns out to be more than a rumor, would add nearly 25% to Analog Devices' 2016 earnings, given the estimated numbers.

This extra business would give a much-needed boost to Analog Devices, which has seen its revenue and earnings decline since 2011. The stock trades at more than 30 times earnings despite this fact, baking in quite a bit of optimism about the company's future.

Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. 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.

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