How to Profit from the Mobile Market Without Investing in Phone Makers

 buying opportunityThinking of investing in the mobile market? You could try to play the mobile market through cell phone manufacturers and decide which company—Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT), or the slew of other players in this sector—is the best buying opportunity.

At this time, Apple is tops in the United States, but Samsung is the global leader, and may perhaps be a better buying opportunity because of this. On the other hand, Microsoft is the up-and-comer that could make some ground if its acquisition of the cellular assets of Nokia Corporation (NYSE/NOK) is approved—which could make this stock a good buying opportunity. (Read “Why I Like Microsoft’s Proposed Acquisition of Nokia’s Cell Phone Business.”)

However, my thinking is to look at some of the third-party suppliers of products and solutions to the mobile market as an alternative buying opportunity to play the growth of the mobile market.

In this regard, a stock that I have followed for a while is small-cap Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ/SYNA). This is the company that supplies some of the touchscreen interface technology used on the Apple “iPhone” and Samsung “Galaxy” devices, along with the touchscreen technology used for “Windows 8.”

In fact, Synaptics has supplied its interface solutions to over one billion devices, according to the company’s web site. These devices include mobile phones, notebook computers, personal computer (PC) peripherals, and portable entertainment devices.

Synaptics is also working on a revolutionary technology that combines its touchscreen solution with the eye-tracking and gaze applications of Tobii Technology. The combination of the two technologies is currently being tested on a prototype laptop. (Source: “Tobii and Synaptics Unveil Concept Laptop That Integrates Eye Tracking and Touchpad User Interface Controls,” Synaptics Incorporated web site, June 25, 2013, last accessed October 8, 2013.)

The company has beaten the Thomson Financial consensus estimates in four straight quarters, which has driven buyers to the stock, recently pushing it to a new 52-week high.

But despite the steady rise in the stock, Synaptics is still a possible buying opportunity with a decent valuation trading at 11.8X its estimated Thomson Financial earnings per share (EPS) of $4.03 for fiscal 2014 (ending in June). The price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio of 1.0 is also attractive for a growth stock and is based on a conservative five-year average annual earnings growth rate of 11.67%, according to Thomson Financial. Again, this suggests a possible buying opportunity.

Take a look at the chart of Synaptics below. The biggest years for the stock were from 2003 to 2007, when its interface solutions started to catch on in the marketplace. The last few years have seen the stock stall, but there was a recent breakout at the top resistance level that could point to higher gains and a possible buying opportunity, based on my technical analysis.

Synaptics,Inc. Nasdaq GS Chart

Chart courtesy of

I believe Synaptics has tons of upside potential and could be a possible buying opportunity due to its established leadership position in the touchscreen interface market. For investors looking for above-average price appreciation potential, Synaptics may be worth a look.