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Synaptics' profit rises nearly threefold
Strong growth in digital music players behind results
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) - Synaptics Inc. said second-quarter profit jumped 178 percent as the maker of electronic touch-pad technology benefited from strong sales of digital-music players like Apple Computer's iPod.
Synaptics (SYNA: news, chart, profile) reported late Thursday that it earned $9.7 million, or 33 cents a share, up from $3.5 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 65 percent to $56.5 million from $34.3 million.
The company topped the estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call, who on average expected Synaptics to earn 30 cents a share on $55 million in revenue.
In after-hours trading, Synaptics shares rose $2.45, or 8 percent, to $32.68 after adding 23 cents in the regular market session.
Synaptics makes the scroll wheel technology used in Apple's (AAPL: news, chart, profile) best-selling iPods, and touchpad technology used in music players from Creative Technology (CREAF: news, chart, profile) , Samsung and others. The company's products are also used extensively by notebook computer makers.
In an interview with CBS MarketWatch, Synaptics Chief Executive Officer Francis Lee said increased demand for portable digital music players boosted quarterly sales in its non-PC products to 43 percent of revenue, up from 33 percent in Synaptics' first fiscal quarter.
That assessment was supported by Bear Stearns' analyst Andrew Neff's upgrading of Synaptics' stock prior to the company's report. Last week, Neff raised his rating on Synaptics to "outperform" on the grounds that the company benefited from stronger-than-expected sales of Apple Computer's (AAPL: news, chart, profile) iPod music players, which use Synaptics' technology.
Lee added that Synaptics estimates its current, third-quarter revenue will be flat versus the second quarter, as increased sales of digital music players is expected to counteract a typical decline in the notebook PC market.
Analysts currently estimate Synaptics will earn 19 cents a share, on $45 million in revenue, for the quarter.