Touch Screen Chip Suppliers Get A Boost

Shares of companies that supply technology for touch screens got a boost after an analyst said touch technology is in the early stages of 'widespread adoption.'

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of several companies that supply technology used in the touch screens of smart phones, tablet computers and other gadgets got a boost Thursday after an analyst said touch technology is in the early stages of "widespread adoption in mainstream consumer products."

Collins Stewart analyst John Vinh said he thinks there will be "multiple winners" that will benefit from the spread of touch screens to products ranging from smart phones to digital cameras to tablet PCs. He started coverage of chip maker Atmel Corp. with a "Buy" rating and a target price of $13. The company's shares jumped 56 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $11.31 in afternoon trading. Earlier, the stock hit a 52-week high of $11.37.

"We believe the market for touch has been extremely robust to the point where touch controller suppliers have commonly turned down projects due to resource capacity constraints," Vinh wrote in a note to investors. In addition to Atmel, the suppliers he's referring to are Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Synaptics Inc.

Shares of Cypress, which Vinh started with a "Buy" rating and an $18 target price, rose 43 cents to $16.96. Earlier, the stock hit a 52-week high of $16.96.

Shares of Synaptics, which the analyst already rated "Neutral" with a $28 target price, climbed 18 cents to $29.35.

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