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Knowles' (KN) Dual-Diaphragm Balanced Armature Enriches Sound

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Knowles Corporation KN recently unveiled a dual-diaphragm balanced armature to augment its portfolio of advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing and precision device solutions. The product is likely to strengthen its leading market position with the best-in-class output for its size and enable manufacturers to enrich their sound quality in premium earphones.

The new product is based on an innovative design that helps to achieve high output levels with a minimal footprint. It includes two separate chambers, each housing its own diaphragm and drive rod actuated by a single coil, producing a combined output with clear sound and more natural quality.

Leveraging its leading position in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) microphones and strong capabilities in audio processing technologies, Knowles optimizes audio systems and improves user experience in mobile, ear and IoT applications. Its MEMS microphones are the smallest of its kind, with the highest signal-to-noise ratio at the lowest power, while the balanced armature speakers offer the greatest output at the lowest power.

Proprietary manufacturing techniques and global scale of operations have facilitated the company to fine-tune its business with the evolving customer demands and invest in high-value solutions. The transformation from an acoustic component supplier to an audio solutions provider has enabled the company to migrate to higher-value solutions and increase content per device. This, in turn, has empowered it to capitalize on the positive macro trends in audio and edge processing solutions.

Moreover, voice-powered interactions are fast emerging as a critical and necessary feature as consumers tend to engage with technology through natural, spoken commands across the mobile, ear and IoT platforms. This has led to a wide proliferation of products ranging from mobile phones to headsets and smart speakers to household appliances. Knowles aims to capitalize on its unique capabilities in acoustics, digital signal processing and algorithms to cater to these demands.

The acquisition of Audience further helped the company gain essential digital signal processing and algorithm capabilities. Strong business focus, disciplined capital management and continuous R&D (research & development) initiatives have helped Knowles command a leading market position in MEMS microphones, balanced armature speakers, edge processors, high-performance capacitors and radio frequency filtering solutions.

Knowles boasts an integrated design and manufacturing scale of operations. The company has a unique ability to balance and shift between full and semi-automation to optimize the efficiency of the operations and reduce operating expenses. For products introduced more than 18 months ago, Knowles strives to offset expected price erosion through bill of material cost reductions, yield improvements, equipment efficiency and movement to lower-cost manufacturing locations.

The stock has lost 5.8% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 14.1%. We remain impressed with the inherent growth potential of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

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Clearfield, Inc. CLFD, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), is another solid pick for investors. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Clearfield delivered an earnings surprise of 37.5%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates for the current year for the stock have moved up 114.7% since May 2021. Over the past year, Clearfield has gained a solid 47.5%.

InterDigital, Inc. IDCC also sports a Zacks Rank #1. It has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 15% and delivered a stellar earnings surprise of 141.1%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates for the current year have moved up 88.5% since May 2021.

InterDigital is focused on pursuing agreements with unlicensed customers in the handset and consumer electronics markets. The company aims to become a leading designer and developer of technology solutions and innovation for the mobile industry, IoT and allied technology areas. InterDigital’s global footprint, diversified product portfolio and the ability to penetrate different markets are impressive.

TESSCO Technologies Incorporated TESS, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, delivered an earnings surprise of 61.9%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. TESSCO carries a VGM Score of A.

TESSCO offers products to the industry’s top manufacturers in mobile communications, Wi-Fi, wireless backhaul and related products. With more than three decades of experience, it delivers complete end-to-end solutions to the wireless industry.


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