Wed, May 20, 12:29 PM
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will follow up on its use of OLED displays for the Apple Watch by launching iPhones and iPads sporting OLEDs in the 2016/2017 timeframe, argues The Motley Fool's Steve Symington in a column today.
- Symington notes Apple has reportedly contracted Foxconn and Innolux to build a $2.6B plant to make flexible OLEDs for both smartphones and wearables, and that a JV launched by Japan Display, Sony, and Panasonic (known as JOLED) has reportedly been contracted by Apple to produce OLEDs for next-gen iPads.
- Universal Display (OLED +2.2%) has made fresh highs, and is now up 89% YTD. Shares jumped two weeks ago after the company disclosed a $45M Q/Q increase in its deferred revenue balance within its Q1 report.
- Also: LG Display (LPL +0.9%) recently showed off a 55" OLED panel prototype that's only 0.97mm thick - far thinner than its existing 55" panel (4.3mm). The prototype weighs only 1.9kg, and can be stuck to a wall using a magnetic mat.
- LG, which struck a new licensing deal with Universal earlier this year, says it plans to ramp OLED production in Q3, and is respectively aiming for 2015 and 2016 unit shipments of 600K and 1.5M.
Thu, Mar. 5, 2:11 PM
- "LG will have [a high dynamic range] OLED solution available this year. We expect we’ll start to make a bit more noise about this around the time of the IFA technology show in September," says LG exec Robert Taylor. He adds creating an HDR OLED set is a priority for LG, and that the self-emissive nature of OLEDs makes them a superior solution for HDR than LCDs.
- Taylor cautions commercializing HDR remains a work in progress. "[W]e’ve got the easy job; we display it. The broadcasters and the movie studios are the ones who have to figure out how to code it, how to distribute it, how to commercialize it, how to infrastructure it. And they’re just not there yet."
- LG recently unveiled a curved 65" 4K OLED set that will sell for a steep $8,999 in April. Subsidiary LG Display (LPL -0.7%) significantly expanded OLED production in December, and plans to create a new large-panel OLED production line later this year; Samsung still accounts for the lion's share of OLED panel output.
- Universal Display (OLED) is up strongly today, adding to the big Monday gains it saw after Samsung launched the Galaxy S6.
Wed, Feb. 11, 1:23 PM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) plans to invest KRW4T ($3.6B) in a new OLED production line for small and medium-sized (e.g. smartphone/tablet) displays. The spending will take place from 2015-2017. The announcement coincides with one from LG Display (LPL +1.5%) stating it will invest KRW1T-1.2T this year to expand an existing large-panel (e.g. TV) OLED production line.
- In its Q4 report, Samsung forecast its OLED panel shipments, a huge portion of which currently go to the company's mobile hardware unit, would rise over the whole of 2015 thanks to new customers. OLED materials/tech supplier Universal Display (OLED +1%) is up moderately; its Q4 report arrives on Feb. 26.
- Samsung has also announced the creation of an advanced technologies team that will work on products such as 3D printers, virtual reality hardware, drones, robots, unmanned vehicles, and telepresence equipment. The team will be housed inside Samsung's mobile unit, and overseen by mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun.
Wed, Jan. 28, 9:25 AM
Mon, Jan. 26, 9:16 AM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) has struck an OLED patent licensing deal with LG Display (NYSE:LPL) that runs through the end of 2022. Universal will also supply LG with phosphorescent OLED materials.
- The licensing deal features license fees and running royalties. Universal CEO Steven Abramson: "We are excited to enter into these agreements with our long-term partner LG Display, a global technology innovator who is leading the charge for OLED TVs, evidenced by its recent CES showcase of new 4K models ranging from 55, 65 and 77 in flexible, curved and flat form factors."
- Depending on LG's production ramp, the deal could lower Universal's dependence on top customer Samsung, which recently opted not to use Universal's host materials in new hardware. Universal has risen to $35 in premarket trading.
- Previously: Universal strikes licensing deal with Sumitomo
Wed, Jan. 14, 1:20 PM
- A slew of tech companies have posted steep losses on a day the Nasdaq is down 1%.
- Major decliners include Pandora (P -5%), LED giant Cree (CREE -5.9%), cloud HR software leader Workday (WDAY -4.1%), chipmakers Ambarella (AMBA -5.3%), Pixelworks (PXLW -3.7%), Audience (ADNC -3.6%), Spansion (CODE -4.4%), and Cypress (CY -3.9%) (the last two are merger partners), OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED -4.2%), industrial automation tech provider Echelon (ELON -4.8%), and P2P lending giant/recent IPO LendingClub (LC -4.8%).
- Possibly affecting OLED: LG Display (NYSE:LPL) has been ordered to halt operations at an OLED TV panel production line following a gas leak that killed two workers.
- Cree and Pandora aren't far removed from their 52-week lows; the former reports on Jan. 20, and the latter on Feb. 5. LendingClub, whose selloff follows a volatile Tuesday, could be affected by a neutral coverage launch from Susquehanna.
Dec. 18, 2014, 9:20 AM
- Believing TV demand will be strong in the coming years as consumers upgrade their first flat-panel sets, Citi has upgraded Corning (NYSE:GLW) to Buy and hiked its target by $4 to $25.
- Last week, Corning hiked its Q4 LCD glass volume and pricing guidance, while citing stronger-than-expected LCD TV market demand. Both larger screen sizes and the adoption of 4K sets has been boosting demand.
- NPD recently observed 32" and smaller TV sets accounted for the less than half of Thanksgiving week sales for the first time. Demand for larger sets rose sharply, with 50-64" sets seeing more sales than 33-49" sets. 65" and larger sets managed to account for over 5% of volume.
- Stronger demand for larger sets also benefits LCD panel suppliers AU Optronics (NYSE:AUO) and LG Display (NYSE:LPL).
- Yesterday: Dow Corning shuttering plant
Nov. 3, 2014, 1:12 PM
- Canaccord's Jonathan Dorsheimer believes Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) is set to lose OLED green host material share to Samsung affiliate Cheil industries for the Galaxy S5, and also sees Samsung using Cheil as a supplier for future phones.
- In a base case scenario, Dorsheimer sees Universal losing 33% of its 2H14 green host sales, and 50% in 2015 and beyond. He estimates such a loss would respectively affect 2H14, 2015, and 2016 sales by $8.4M, $30.4M, and $29.4M. A bear-case scenario of 100% share loss yields estimated revenue losses of $16.7M, $60.8M, and $58.8M.
- Dorsheimer does note Universal could benefit from Apple Watch-related materials sales - Apple Watch is believed to feature an OLED display, and Universal client LG Display (LPL -0.3%) is the rumored supplier. But he thinks the device might only yield $1M-$2M in quarterly revenue for Universal.
- Q3 results are due on Thursday. Universal plunged in July in response to news Samsung/Cheil is buying German OLED materials provider Novaled, but rebounded after analysts argued Novaled's offerings are complementary.
Oct. 20, 2014, 1:40 PM
- Just 4 days after Credit Suisse cut LG Display (LPL +3.7%) to Underperform (and peer AU Optroniics to Neutral), CLSA has given the LCD panel maker a 2-notch upgraded to Outperform.
- The firm thinks the recent selloff sparked by Japan Display's weak guidance is overdone. A source told Bloomberg Japan Display (a reported iPhone 6 LCD supplier, like LG) failed to secure parts needed to meet Apple's orders, and also expects shipments to Sony to fall.
Oct. 16, 2014, 9:51 AM
- Credit Suisse has downgraded AU Optronics (AUO -3%) to Neutral, and fellow LCD panel maker LG Display (LPL -4.3%) to Underperform.
- Two days ago, BofA/Merrill downgraded LCD glass giant Corning. Among other things, it cited the potential for slowing TV unit growth and softer-than-expected 4K TV adoption.
Aug. 22, 2014, 10:50 AM
- Reuters reports Apple (AAPL +0.4%) originally wanted the iPhone 6 to use a single LCD backlight film layer instead of the normal two, but changed its mind after finding a single layer wasn't bright enough.
- The about-face is said to have put screen assembly "on hold for part of June and July." Production is now back on track, and suppliers are "working flat-out to make up for lost time." The WSJ reported in July Apple has placed orders for 70M-80M iPhone 6 units to be produced by Dec. 30.
- Japan Display, Sharp (OTCPK:SHCAY), and LG Display (LPL -2.6%) are reportedly the iPhone 6's LCD suppliers. Japan Display has previously said shipments for "a large customer" (believed to be Apple) might be delayed in calendar Q3.
- Apple has shrugged off the report, and is trading near $101.
Jul. 23, 2014, 9:14 AM
Jun. 27, 2014, 12:14 PM
- Goldman, a long-time Universal Display (OLED +7.3%) bull, has issued another upbeat note: The firm sees a variety of upcoming mobile, TV, and wearables product launches boosting Universal's growth.
- Goldman recently argued Samsung's new Galaxy Tab S (features a 2K OLED display) will act as a positive catalyst; volumes should be much lower than the Galaxy S5 and Note 3's, but revenue/device higher.
- Separately, Korean media reports state LG Display (LPL +1.6%) plans to spend $788M to expand OLED production, in part to address the nascent OLED TV market (has seen some recent exits). For his part, LPL CEO Han Sang-beom says his company is thinking of expanding production of plastic OLEDs for smartphones and smartwatches.
- Reuters previously reported LPL will be the exclusive display supplier for Apple's iWatch. The Nikkei has reported the iWatch will feature a curved OLED display.
Jun. 19, 2014, 3:51 PM
- Contract manufacturer Quanta will start iWatch (AAPL -0.4%) mass production in July ahead of a launch that could "come as early as October," Reuters reports, citing sources. That fits well with past reports from the Nikkei and re/code.
- Reuters adds the device will likely have a 2.5" touch display - LG Display (LPL +2.3%) is said to be the exclusive supplier - to go with a pulse monitor (should work with iOS 8's Health app) and wireless charging support. The watch face "will protrude slightly from the band, creating an arched shape."
- Apple reportedly expects 50M shipments in the first year of availability; the consumer response could ultimately yield a very different shipment level. For reference, Apple sold 148M iPhones in FY13, and might sell 180M+ in FY14.
- Update: The WSJ reports the iWatch will likely arrive in two screen sizes, and feature over 10 sensors.
Apr. 1, 2014, 11:33 AM
- Reuters' Tokyo bureau reports Japan Display will begin making LCDs for a 4.7" iPhone (AAPL +0.3%) as soon as May, and that Sharp and LG Display (LPL +1.3%) are set to begin around June.
- However, production of displays for a 5.5" model is "expected to start several months later," due to challenges in producing in-cell touch sensors (used in recent iPhones) for the displays.
- The Nikkei reported last week Sharp will be ramping iPhone 6 LCD production as soon as Q2, and that two larger models are likely. Before that, the WSJ reported two larger iPhones are on tap, and that the smaller model is further along in development.
- Samsung, which has dominated the high-end phablet market to date, launched the Galaxy Note 3 in September last year.
Jan. 21, 2014, 9:57 AM
- 3D Systems (DDD -3%) has been cut to Neutral by Credit Suisse.
- Seagate (STX +2.1%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley, and rival Western Digital (WDC +0.5%) has been upgraded to Outperform by BMO. Wesern reports tomorrow, and Seagate on Jan. 27.
- SolarCity (SCTY -3.3%) has been cut to Neutral by JPMorgan. Deutsche started shares at Buy last week.
- SanDisk (SNDK -2.3%) has been cut to Neutral by BofA/Merrill. Q4 results arrive tomorrow.
- NetApp (NTAP +2.2%) has been upgraded to Buy by Lake Street Capital.
- InvenSense (INVN -2.8%) has been cut to Hold by Needham.
- FireEye (FEYE -3.7%) has been cut to Neutral by JPMorgan following a huge run-up in the wake of the Mandiant deal and the company's guidance hike.
- Altera (ALTR +2.8%) has been upgraded to Overweight by JPMorgan ahead of Wednesday's Q4 report.
- Tibco (TIBX -2.4%) has been cut to Neutral by Wedbush. Shares rallied last week on a report suggesting Dan Loeb is set to make an activist push.
- NetSuite (N +1.1%) has been upgraded to Buy by Maxim.
- Violin Memory (VMEM -3.7%) has been cut to Underweight by Barclays.
- Motorola Solutions (MSI +1.8%) has been upgraded to Buy by Citi.
- LG Display (LPL +3.2%) has been upgraded to Buy by BofA/Merrill.
LPL vs. ETF Alternatives
LG Display Co Ltd provides thin-film transistor liquid crystal display, or TFT-LCD, technology and other display panel technologies, including OLED technology. It manufactures TFT-LCD panels for use in televisions, notebook computers, and desktop.
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