Synaptics (SYNA) Could See Strong Growth as Touch-Senor Adoption Expands - Barron's Sep 2, 2014 03:28PM

Synaptics (Nasdaq: SYNA) is comfortably higher Tuesday following a positive mention in Barron's last weekend.

In part, Barron's noted the $255 million acquisition of Validity Systems last November and that it already looks more meaningful thank recent pickups by Facebook and Google. Samsung already selected Validity to make the fingerprint sensor for its Galaxy S5 smartphone but even lower-cost smartphones are starting to adopt the technology.

Synaptics recently noted that 30 million fingerprint sensors were sold in the PC and mobile industry and the company sees that number moving to 530 million by 2016 as adoption catches on.

More than fingerprints, Synaptics also has a 40 percent share of touchscreen controller chips, which sense and interpret the movement of fingers on a screen. It also controls 65 percent of the market for touchpads in notebook computer, according to Barron's.

There's also the potential for Apple to bolster its relationship with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL); the company made touch-enabled wheels for early iPods, though the relationship didn't pan out. Should Synaptics be able to combine its three offerings -- fingerprint sensors, touch controllers, and display drivers -- on a single chip, that might draw Apple and others closer.

Shares of Synaptics are up 4 percent.


OCC Finalizes Guidelines for Stronger Risk Management, Governance at Large Financial Institutions (BAC) (C) (JPM) Sep 2, 2014 02:04PM

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today published final guidelines to strengthen the governance and risk management practices of large financial institutions. The guidelines apply to insured national banks, insured federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks with $50 billion or more in average total consolidated assets. The guidelines also apply to an OCC-regulated institution with less than $50 billion in average total consolidated assets if that institution’s parent company controls at least one other covered institution.

The guidelines provide that covered institutions should establish and adhere to a written risk governance framework to manage and control its risk-taking activities. The guidelines also provide minimum standards for the institutions’ boards of directors to oversee the risk governance framework.

“The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated that much stronger supervisory standards would be necessary to manage the risks associated with large, complex financial institutions,” said Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry. “As a result, the OCC raised its standards for risk management, corporate governance, and control to help ensure these institutions effectively anticipate, evaluate, and mitigate the risks they face. The guidelines finalized today are an important step in making our federal system of banks and thrifts stronger and more resilient.”

Institutions with $750 billion or more in average total consolidated assets are expected to comply immediately upon the effective date as published in the Federal Register. Institutions between $100 billion and $750 billion in consolidated assets should comply within six months of the effective date. Institutions with assets from $50 billion to $100 billion should comply within 18 months of effective date. Institutions with less than $50 billion that are covered because their parent company controls at least one other covered bank should comply on the same date that the other covered bank should comply. Institutions that reach the $50 billion threshold after publication of the guidelines should comply within 18 months from the date of the call report determining that it exceeded the threshold.

The final guidelines are generally the same as those proposed in January 2014. However, the final guidelines were revised to provide clarity and avoid imposing managerial responsibilities on board members.


Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox One Heading to 28 Additional Markets in September Sep 2, 2014 12:28PM

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox Chief, Phil Spencer, posted the following to the official Xbox blog on Tuesday:

September is a big month for Xbox.

I have said many times before that it has never been a better time to be an Xbox One gamer. And with the upcoming launches of highly-anticipated games like Destiny, Forza Horizon 2, and FIFA 15 this month, gamers around the world will be able to play a few of the first titles from the incredible holiday lineup coming to Xbox One.

But what makes September truly special is that gamers from 28 additional countries will get to experience the games and entertainment on Xbox One for the very first time. I know that many of you have waited patiently since we first announced Xbox One. And it has been very important to both me and the team that we launch with a great experience in your market.

Gamers in new Xbox One markets can expect to enjoy our award-winning line-up including some of the most anticipated games. Groundbreaking exclusives like Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, and Ryse: Son of Rome, will be joined by Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection in the coming months. The roster also includes blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 and the upcoming Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft…and more.* Rounding out the incredible portfolio includes a diverse set of ID@Xbox titles from the some of the world’s most creative independent developers.

With an amazing holiday games lineup, a strong and connected community on Xbox Live, and continued improvement to Xbox One in the monthly feature updates – it truly is a great time to be an Xbox gamer.

So on behalf of the entire team at Xbox I would like to welcome the following markets to the growing Xbox One community this month:

9/2: Chile and Colombia

9/4: Japan

9/5: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates

9/15: Israel

9/23: Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan

9/23: China

9/26: Russia

For gamers in Argentina, we’ll have more to share on our launch plans shortly. We can’t wait to see everyone playing on Xbox One very soon.

Phil
Twitter: @XboxP3
Gamertag: P3


America Movil (AMX) Taps Banker to Assist in Sale of Certain Phone Assets (T) Sep 2, 2014 11:51AM

America Movil (NYSE: AMX) is ticking higher Tuesday following reports last weekend that the company is looking to unload certain assets.

According to Bloomberg, America Movil tapped Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) to sell parts of its Mexican phone operations to get market share below 50 percent, which would help the company avoid new regulation aimed at stemming the company's dominance in the region.

Potential buyers include AT&T (NYSE: T) and Japan's SoftBank.

America Movil announced plans to sell certain assets last July. The deal will only win approval if a buyer is a new entrant into the Mexican market, aimed at stimulating competition.

While America Mobil hasn't disclosed the amount of assets it plans to sell, some see the company raising $4 billion or more in a potential deal.

Shares of America Movil are up 1.5 percent.


BlackBerry (BBRY) Plans Sept. 24th Events in Three non-U.S. Cities Sep 2, 2014 11:16AM

The following was posted to BlackBerry's (Nasdaq: BBRY) official blog on Tuesday:

On September 24, all eyes will be on BlackBerry as we host exclusive, invite-only events in Toronto, London and Dubai to show off… well I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

An invite for an exclusive BlackBerry event. See the bigger picture 09.24.14

The Inside BlackBerry team will be there, along with an exclusive list of media and industry guests, to bring you all the action. Consider this a Save the Date to keep your browser locked on Inside BlackBerry, @BlackBerry on Twitter, the BlackBerry Facebook page and be among the first to “See the bigger picture.” I’ll leave speculation up to you in the comments below.


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