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Samsung/LG seen eying sapphire as Gorilla Glass alternative; GTAT jumps

  • Korea's ETNews.com reports Samsung (SSNLF) and LG (LGEIY) are interested in adopting sapphire cover glass for their phones, and recently asked sapphire wafer/ingot makers to submit samples.
  • The site adds the companies were previously reluctant to adopt sapphire due to its steep cost, but have changed their minds following Apple's embrace of the technology.
  • Like much of the industry, Samsung/LG have been avid users of Corning's (GLW +0.5%) Gorilla Glass. Sapphire cover glass is thinner, stronger, and more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass, but also much more costly for now. Samsung took a 7.4% stake in Corning last year as part of a deal to sell its stake in the Samsung Corning JV.
  • GT Advanced (GTAT +8%), currently quite busy ramping sapphire production for Apple, has shot higher on the report. Though GT has said its Apple deal "will be subject to certain exclusivity terms during the duration of the agreement," there could still be a long-term opportunity to service other OEMs. Moreover, stronger industry demand stands to improve GT's pricing power.
  • SA author Matt Margolis notes the Apple exclusivity deal doesn't cover GT's sapphire laminate solutions (enabled by its Hyperion tech).
  • Sapphire wafer vendor Rubicon (RBCN +4.8%) is also up sharply, aided by an Oppenheimer upgrade.
Comments (22)
  • Mark Gomes
    , contributor
    Comments (1771) | Send Message
     
    Congrats to PTT Research's new analyst, Matt Margolis for an incredible call on this!
    23 May, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • gory
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    Takes the speculation out of this stock. Sapphire is the future.
    23 May, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (2575) | Send Message
     
    712 Million in Mesa, Arizona should have done that.
    23 May, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • gory
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    should have but for some odd reason it did not.
    23 May, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • Yesterdays_news
    , contributor
    Comments (1127) | Send Message
     
    So can GTAT sell to anyone, or just Apple? Can't Samsung and others also invest in GTAT for their own sapphire needs? Apple uses Samsung for product parts.
    23 May, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • Willow Street Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (804) | Send Message
     
    Did you read the cited article? There are a bunch of comapnies in Korea and China that make sapphire glass. The GTAT army doesnt seem to understand this.
    23 May, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • gory
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    The boost on gtat's share price has nothing to do with any army. This just validates gtat's sapphire products. I expect the share price to continue to appreciate and once gtat's other products kicks in, I expect to gain short-term and long-term.
    23 May, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Willow Street Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (804) | Send Message
     
    Never follow the Wall Street hype.
    23 May, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • gory
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    I don't follow hype, I follow facts. Only a blind man couldn't see the brick and mortar expansion at Mesa and Merrimack. They are spending more millions just for funsies.
    23 May, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • Willow Street Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (804) | Send Message
     
    Any of this Sapphire the result of a patented product or process? If not, it will be quickly copied and sink like a stone. Read the linked article.
    23 May, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • gory
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    You are confused. You must be thinking of another stock. There are tons of patented product/process for gtat's sapphire.
    23 May, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (2575) | Send Message
     
    Dumb? Dense? Obtuse?
    23 May, 04:41 PM Reply Like
  • Willow Street Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (804) | Send Message
     
    Hype. Hype. Hype.
    23 May, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • gory
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    You must be a short in serious pain? sorry about that man. Seriously, it will be more pain next week. Should have covered.
    23 May, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • ACJ
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Since choiminsk chose to whine about his short losses rather than answer the question, the answer to the yesterdays_news question is that Samsung and others can't just invest in GTAT for their own sapphire needs. Mesa, AZ is an Apple-owned site and can only be used to produce sapphire for Apple or with Apple's approval. If I remember correctly, GTAT has an exclusivity deal for the sapphire screens with Apple in general, though GTAT could possibly begin producing sapphire laminated screens at other sites using Hyperion. However, it seems GTAT would not be averse to dealing with Apple on that process also based on comments from the GTAT president, if Apple shows interest down the road.

     

    Despite choiminshik's ignorance of GTAT, there are patents on the process being used to produce sapphire for Apple, many of them Apple's patents, some of them GTAT's patents. So, it is true to say there are many sapphire producers in the world, but the end product on the devices will not be so simple to replicate. Since GTAT and Apple are first movers in that arena, the competitors will have many technical, capital and logistical hurdles to overcome in order to catch up.

     

    Understand that choiminshik is a GLW loyalist, and the appropriate response to him is a good quote from choiminshik:

     

    "Comments like yours just grab a few bits from here and there and then you spit them out as if you are knowledgeable about the company but offer no concrete support for anything you say. Good luck with your thinking. Dont buy the stock I will ride it up as it keeps going up."
    23 May, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • platonicbomb
    , contributor
    Comments (1109) | Send Message
     
    Anyone who wants to make sapphire at GTAT cost will have to buy patented equipment from GTAT in order to do it.
    24 May, 08:03 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Gomes
    , contributor
    Comments (1771) | Send Message
     
    Margolis covers all of this. GTAT has patented processes that give it a great advantage. I had a feeling that it might be coming when they made those acquisitions, but I didn't have the smarts to put it all together. Matt did.

     

    http://bit.ly/1ic9crv

     

    Honestly, I see sapphire eventually replacing glass in virtually everything. It might take 50 years, but even windows should eventually be made of sapphire. It's just matter of how long it takes for the cost to get low enough. Between now and then, it will gain economies of scale with each new application (thus making it logical for the next). This is a very long-term trend.
    23 May, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • inside man 55
    , contributor
    Comments (667) | Send Message
     
    Hi Mark, given your history of market beating returns, the hiring of Matt, and your interest in GTAT, I have to presume you think GTAT has the potential to triple. I agree, the potential for sapphire to replace ordinary glass is very high over the very long term.
    23 May, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • Mark Gomes
    , contributor
    Comments (1771) | Send Message
     
    Inside,

     

    Matt is his own man inside of PTT Research. PTT mainly recruits the best independent analysts they can find to have their own franchise under the PTT Research umbrella. PTT handles all of the back-end technology, marketing, sales, etc, enabling guys like Matt (and me) to focus on what we do best...research.

     

    PTT also hires junior analysts for internal research assistance.

     

    As for GTAT, I defer to Matt. I know the company well, but that knowledge pales in comparison to his.

     

    Cheers,

     

    Mark G.
    25 May, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • inside man 55
    , contributor
    Comments (667) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Mark for your reply. I am already following you and Matt and will be keeping a close watch on ATTU, GLUU and GTAT.
    29 May, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • draland
    , contributor
    Comments (305) | Send Message
     
    I am a subscriber to PTT, but it really becomes harder to ask individual questions there. Just as an aside to this wonderful news for GTAT, I wonder why no mention or BOOST to TPCS, as my pps continues to dwindle I wonder if BK is looming larger now that the forbearance expiration is head to 3-months old and SILENCE.
    See if this is a valid question worthy of a 'direct' response, Thanks.
    30 May, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • platonicbomb
    , contributor
    Comments (1109) | Send Message
     
    Mark commented on this recently. The next piece of news will likely come in an SEC filing. He also replied yesterday or today to someone who asked him to write a positive article (I think on GLUU), saying that he usually decides NOT to publish about a company when requested to do so, even if he had already planned to publish. Best not to lobby.

     

    Not to be glib, but the answer is that either bankruptcy or a fresh round of financing is 90 days closer to fruition than it was 3 months ago. But no one here knows which it is going to be.
    30 May, 11:27 AM Reply Like
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