Once a low-key provider of chips used for PC touchpads, mobile phone screens, and fingerprint scanners, Synaptics (ticker: SYNA) has turned itself into a play on the Internet of Things, which aims to bridge the physical and digital worlds.
Thanks to a series of acquisitions, Synaptics now makes parts for virtual-reality headsets, security cameras, automotive displays, voice-recognition systems, and a range of other applications. The company has divested its low-margin display chips for LCD phones and trimmed its head count by about 30%.
The transformation began with the arrival of CEO Michael Hurlston in August 2019. Since then, Synaptics shares have soared 560%, to a recent $212, an average gain of about one percentage point for every trading day.