Japan's Nikkei reports Samsung (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNNF) plans to spend KRW8T ($6.82B) in 2016 to increase its smartphone OLED panel capacity by over 50%, or more than 200M/year. Samsung is believed to already have the capacity to produce 300M+ smartphone OLED panels per year.
The report follows ones indicating Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to launch iPhones featuring OLEDs in 2017, with some of the reports stating Samsung and LG Display (LPL -0.3%) will be among the suppliers. A Korean news service reported in April Samsung will supply 100M 5.5" OLEDs annually to Apple starting next year. The Nikkei suggests Apple will partly rely on OLEDs for its 2017 iPhone lineup.
OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED +0.3%) has moved slightly higher following the report. Industrial laser maker Coherent (COHR -0.4%) also stands to benefit from major OLED investments, as does chip equipment giant Applied Materials (AMAT -1%).
Lam Research (LRCX +4.1%), KLA-Tencor (KLAC +2.3%), ASML (ASML +2.2%), Axcelis (ACLS +3.9%), Kulicke & Soffa (KLIC +3%), Ultratech (UTEK +3.5%), Teradyne (TER +2.3%), Rudolph Technologies (RTEC +2.6%), and Xcerra (XCRA +2.7%) are outperforming after Applied Materials (AMAT +13.2%) beat FQ2 estimates, provided FQ3 guidance that was well above consensus, and reported FQ2 orders rose 52% Q/Q and 37% Y/Y to $3.45B. The Nasdaq is up 1.2%.
Applied's order growth was fueled in large part by display equipment orders totaling $700M, up sharply from $183M in the prior quarter and $120M a year ago. On its earnings call, AMAT said display order strength is likely to continue "over the rest of 2016," and is being driven by mobile-related OLED investments - many reports have indicated Apple plans to bring iPhones sporting OLEDs to market next year.
OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED +5.2%) is rallying. As are display panel makers LG Display (LPL +6.5%) and AU Optronics (AUO +3.2%), each of which have been stepping up their OLED investments, and industrial laser maker Coherent (COHR +2.5%), which has recently seen an OLED-related order surge.
Also: Applied's NAND flash-related orders more than doubled Y/Y to nearly $1B thanks to its customers' 3D NAND investments. That more than offset softer DRAM and foundry-related chip equipment demand. On the call, Applied suggested NAND orders will slow a bit in the second half of FY16, but remain strong overall. Foundry demand is expected to grow somewhat this year, with Applied gaining share. Industry wafer fab equipment demand is expected to be flat to slightly up.
B. Riley has upgraded Applied to Buy, and several firms have hiked their targets. Cowen's Tim Arcuri thinks $3 in annual EPS is now possible. Credit Suisse's Farhan Ahmad: "AMAT is clearly outgrowing peers this year, driven by favourable mix shift within WFE (NAND/Foundry increasing, DRAM declining) and strong growth in Display (China/OLED investments)."
Coherent (NASDAQ:COHR) is acquiring industrial laser peer Rofin-Sinar (NASDAQ:RSTI) for $942M, or $32.50/share, in cash. The price represents a 42% premium to Rofin's Wednesday close.
The deal is expected to close in 6-9 months, provided shareholders and regulators approve. For reference, Coherent closed today with a $2.06B market cap.
Coherent plans to finance the purchase via existing cash and committed debt financing from Barclays. CEO John Ambroseo: "The combination of Coherent and ROFIN represents a unique opportunity to strengthen Coherent's position in materials processing. The addition of ROFIN's complementary portfolio will build on Coherent's capabilities as a world leader in laser and photonics-based technology and solutions and create meaningful value for our stockholders." Rofin CEO Thomas Merk declares the two companies to be "highly complementary both technologically and geographically."
The deal is expected to be accretive to EPS in its first full year after closing, and produce $30M/year in synergies within 18-24 months of closing. It could stoke M&A hopes for peers IPG Photonics (NASDAQ:IPGP), Newport (NASDAQ:NEWP), and GSI Group (NASDAQ:GSIG).
Stifel's Patrick Newton, hiking his Coherent (COHR +3.2%) target by $18 to $100: "Our research indicates the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) supply chain is ramping for OLED production across its portfolio, likely in the 2018 timeframe, requiring a significant investment in OLED hardware, including Coherent’s Excimer Laser Assembly (ELA) Linebeam products." His FY16 (ends Sep. '16) and FY17 EPS estimates have been respectively hiked by $0.15 and $0.20 to $4.40 and $5.25; consensus is at $4.44 and $5.07.
Newton: "We note technologies that use Coherent’s solution, specifically low temperature polysilicon (LTPS), has significantly higher share in OLED production relative to LCD. Our research indicates benefits from the OLED shift extend beyond hardware with the higher utilization of laser discharge units (LDUs) increasing the company’s service revenue relative to LCD, all else equal." He also observes Coherent's OLED-related laser sales carry higher margins than its LCD-related sales.
The note comes five weeks after Coherent reported (along with FQ1 results) strong OLED-related orders for its Linebeam laser systems, and forecast the orders would continue through 2017. It also follows multiple reports indicating Apple plans to use OLEDs in future iPhones - the Nikkei reported of a 2018 ETA.
Universal Display (OLED +5.1%) is going in the same direction as Coherent, much as it did after Coherent's FQ1 report. Shares have more than recovered the losses seen after Universal posted a Q4 miss and issued light 2016 guidance on Feb. 25.
Coherent (COHR +20.5%) missed FQ1 sales estimates (while beating on EPS) and guided on its earnings call (transcript) for FQ2 revenue of $195M-$200M, below a $208.7M consensus.
However, the industrial laser maker also reported FQ1 bookings totaled $273M, up 32.9% Q/Q and 68% Y/Y, and good for a 1.43 book-to-bill. Moreover, a fresh bookings record is forecast for FQ2, and orders are expected to remain strong in the second half of FY16.
CEO John Ambroseo attributed the numbers to strong OLED manufacturing-related orders for Coherent's Linebeam systems. "The first wave of orders for large format Linebeam systems to be used in OLED production accounted for the bookings increase. The second wave has already arrived in the current quarter with an order well in excess of $150 million. There are a significant number of orders pending for the balance of the second quarter and for the remainder of fiscal 2016 ... We can tell you that deliveries begin in the June quarter and run through calendar 2017."
The disclosure comes shortly after LG Display announced new investments to ramp OLED TV panel production, and amid reports Apple plans to use OLEDs in future iPhones (one report indicated a 2018 ETA).
OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED +8.6%) is up strongly. Coherent peers Rofin-Sinar (RSTI +4.3%), IPG Photonics (IPGP +2.6%), and Newport (NEWP +3.5%) are also doing well. The Nasdaq is up 1.5%.
With expectations fairly low following the company's July FQ3 miss, Coherent (NASDAQ:COHR) has soared above $63 with the help of a 110 bps Q/Q and 410 bps Y/Y increase in adjusted gross margin to 44.6%. In addition, bookings (though still slightly below revenue of $209.6M) rose 16.3% Q/Q and 12.4% Y/Y to $205.4M.
The beat is overshadowing FQ1 revenue guidance (provided on the earnings call) of $192M-$198M, below a $202.4M consensus. GM is expected to drop to 42.5%-43%, thanks partly to higher neon gas prices (caused by a supply shortage).
The industrial laser maker notes a favorable product mix and lower warranty costs boosted its bottom line. Also lifting EPS: $50M was spent to buy back 868K shares, and GAAP operating expenses fell by $1.6M Y/Y to $55.4M.
Microelectronics was a strong point in FQ4, with revenue rising 20.5% Q/Q due to the shipment of a Linebeam 1500 system for OLED manufacturing. Coherent thinks OLED industry investments could lead to "substantial" FY16 orders, with deliveries running well into FY17.