Himax Technologies, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:HIMX) is getting investors’ attention in 2017. Himax stock has already gained about 58% year-to-date. The Taiwan-based fabless semiconductor company is famous for making drivers for 3D displays, and Augmented Reality technology. Himax has developed a new 3D sensing technology which is expected to have a huge demand worldwide.
Earlier this year, investment firm Oppenheimer issued a bullish note for Himax, citing the company’s role in the Microsoft Hololens project. Himax is the supplier of Microsoft’s AR headset which will be used on the Hololens project. However, it should be noted that Himax announced delays in its AR technology development for Microsoft.
Himax’s core business is manufacturing ICs for smartphones, monitors and other electronic items. But amid the cyclical nature of the industry, the company started transitioning towards more profitable markets. Himax is now focusing on what it calls “Non Driver” business, which consists of 3D sensing technology, AR and VR. In the most recent quarter, the business accounted for about 20% of the total revenue. But Himax Technologies’ traditional business is still very much relevant. The company expects the demand of ICs to increase in the last quarter of 2017 and the first half of 2018. Analysts expect a whopping 236% increase in Himax earnings in 2018.
It is also important to note that Google has over 6% stake in Himax. Google used the company’s liquid crystal technology in its Glass project.
In September, investment firm Northland said in a report that Apple’s decision to introduce 3D sensing technology in the camera of iPhone X is great news for Himax. The firm thinks that companies like Samsung could use Himax’s 3D-sensing technology in the future to compete with Apple. It gave an “Outperform” rating for Himax stock with a price target of $15.
Analysts think that Himax stock is set to gain more value in the coming months. The company is operating in the Augmented Reality market, whose value is expected to surpassed $61 billion by 2023.
In September, Qualcomm announced a partnership with Himax for the development of a 3D sensing camera system for smartphones and cars. Qualcomm wants to combine its technology with Himax’s wafer-level optics (WLO) to make 3D camera modules.