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.
Mon, Feb. 2, 12:15 PM| Mon, Feb. 2, 12:15 PM | 1 Comment
Wed, Jan. 28, 8:20 PM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) had Q4 revenue of KRW52.73T ($48.6B, -11% Y/Y) and operating profit of KRW5.29T ($4.9B, -36%); the latter was slightly above guidance of KRW5.2T. Net profit fell 28% to KRW5.35T.
- With competition from Apple and Chinese OEMs taking a toll, mobile revenue fell 23% to KRW25T. On the other hand, strong DRAM demand/pricing and NAND growth led memory sales to rise 25% to KRW8.18T. Growing TV panel and mobile OLED panel demand helped display sales rise 9% to KRW7.05T. Consumer electronics sales were flat at KRW14.3T.
- Smartphone/tablet and TV sales are expected to fall in Q1 due to seasonality. TV sales for the whole of 2015 are expected to rise, aided by strong 4K TV demand. Tablet sales are also expected to grow, but no similar forecast is made for phones.
- Mobile and server DRAM demand is expected to remain strong in 2015, with the former boosted by the adoption of high-res phone displays. NAND flash sales are expected to benefit from server/SSD demand, and LSI (logic/foundry) sales by the 14nm process ramp.
- OLED panel shipments are expected to rise in seasonally weak Q1 due to new products (the Galaxy S6?), and grow over the whole of 2015 via the expansion of Samsung's customer base - Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) should be pleased to hear that. A healthy supply/demand balance is expected to remain for LCD panels.
- Samsung ended Q4 with over KRW50T ($46B) in net cash, and KRW17.9T ($16.4B) in investments. Shares are up 0.9% in Seoul.
- Q4 earnings slides (.pdf)
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
Mon, Jan. 26, 9:14 AM
Wed, Jan. 21, 6:54 PM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) has "granted Sumitomo Chemical non-exclusive license rights, under various patents owned or controlled by Universal Display, to manufacture and sell solution-processed [OLED] lighting products." The deal lasts for the lifetime of the covered patents.
- Sumitomo says it plans to use Universal's IP to "increase the luminous efficacy of our polymer OLED lighting panels," and to explore new lighting applications for its printed polymer OLED lighting tech.
- Sumitomo has previously challenged Universal's IP before European and Japanese patent authorities. Universal's existing OLED lighting licensees include Philips, Panasonic, Lumiotec, and Pioneer.
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.
Nov. 18, 2014, 5:52 PM
- In addition to launching fewer smartphone models (thus providing more manufacturing scale for the models that are launched), Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) plans to improve its mobile cost-competitiveness by lowering OLED display costs.
- Samsung Display exec Lee Chang-hoon: "One of the superior things about AMOLED is that [because it has no backlight] it can become cheaper to produce compared to LCD. We are prepared to compete directly with LCD."
- Lee adds Samsung Display, which depends heavily on Samsung Electronics for OLED sales, hopes to get half its OLED sales from other customers in three years. Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) would be pleased if that happened.
- Also: Samsung plans to offer a flexible display that can be folded in half (previous) by year's end. However, the company's production targets are modest for now: It's looking to make just 30K-40K flexible displays per month by the end of 2015.
- Universal closed up 4.3% today. Shares fell two weeks ago after Universal disclosed (along with its Q3 results) Samsung isn't using its green host materials in certain new products (the Note 4 is a strong possibility). On its earnings CC (transcript), Universal said it's working on "higher-performing cost-effective next-generation emitter and hosting systems."
Nov. 14, 2014, 8:50 AM
- Believing growth will slow in 2015, Oppenheimer has downgraded Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) to Perform. Nonetheless, its target is at $35.
- The downgrade comes a week after OLED slashed its 2014 revenue guidance, while blaming soft high-end Samsung phone sales and "lower host material sales as the result of our host materials not being used in certain new product offerings."
Nov. 6, 2014, 5:07 PM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) now expects 2014 revenue of $183M-$185M, below a $203.6M consensus. The company previously forecast revenue would be at the high end of an initial $190M-$205M guidance range.
- Universal attributes its Q3 revenue miss to weaker-than-expected high-end phone sales - top customer Samsung's high-end sales have come under pressure - and (notably) to "lower host material sales as the result of our host materials not being used in certain new product offerings."
- On Monday, Canaccord declared it believes Universal is losing green host material share within Samsung's phone lineup to Samsung affiliate Cheil Industries.
- Materials sales fell 9% Y/Y in Q3 to $27.5M; royalty/license fee revenue rose 260% to $5.4M. Opex fell 6% to $26.8M. $22.5M was spent on buybacks.
- Q3 results, PR
Nov. 6, 2014, 4:16 PM
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. 7, 2014, 12:25 PM
- Universal Display (OLED -2.6%) has sold off after top customer Samsung warned its Q3 sales will be down ~20% Y/Y due to mobile weakness.
- Samsung, contending with both tough Chinese competition and the iPhone 6 launch, mentioned a declining smartphone ASP took a toll on its results. That suggests sales of the high-end devices (the Galaxy S5, Note 3, etc.) that Universal depends heavily on for OLED materials says may have been particularly soft.
Sep. 4, 2014, 1:10 PM
- Apple's (AAPL +0.5%) smartwatch will join the iPhone 6 in sporting an NFC radio that will enable a tap-to-pay payments solution, the WSJ reports. Given recent reports, NXP (NXPI +0.5%) is the likely chip supplier.
- The WSJ also backs up the Nikkei in stating the watch will feature a curved OLED display - a moderate positive for Universal Display (OLED +6.8%) - and reiterates two sizes will be offered.
- At the same time, Apple is said to be "still working out engineering kinks in production," and one source says there's "no way" the watch ships this year (meshes with a re/code report). Pre-orders will be taken in advance.
- No word on pricing; re/code has reported Apple has mulled a $400 price point. Unsurprisingly, Jony Ive is said to have overseen development. Ive has reportedly boasted Apple's watch spells trouble for Switzerland.
- Meanwhile, KGI's Ming-Chi Kuo reports the watch will have 8GB of storage, and that the display sizes will respectively be 1.3" and 1.5". Kuo reported of NFC support back in April, and of limited 2014 production in July.
Sep. 3, 2014, 10:13 AM
- As rumored, Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) Galaxy Note 4 sports a 5.7" quad-HD (2560x1440) display; the Note 3 has a 1080p display. Other improvements include a revamped S Pen (twice the pressure sensitivity, among other things), a metal rim, and the addition of optical image stabilization, a fingerprint scanner, and a heart rate sensor.
- The U.S. version will run on Qualcomm's (QCOM +0.8%) high-end Snapdragon 805 processor (2.7GHz., quad-core) and support Cat-6 LTE; the Note 3 uses the Snapdragon 800. Some international models will use Samsung's Exynos 5433 processor (1.9GHz., 8-core) and only support Cat-4 LTE. The 5433 beat the 805 in some early benchmarks.
- Samsung has also launched the Note Edge, a phone with combines most of the Note 4's specs with a display that curves downwards at the sides. Samsung argues the edges of the display can be used to quickly glance at information while the phone is lying on a table.
- Samsung, which pioneered the phablet market 3 years ago, is counting on the Note 4/Edge to both counter hungry Chinese OEMs that have been grabbing share, and deal with the pending launch (per numerous reports) of a 5.5" iPhone 6. The company still maintains a high phablet share in the U.S.
- Universal Display (OLED +1.4%) benefits from Samsung's use of a quad-HD display, since the panel requires more OLED materials than a 1080p display.
Aug. 7, 2014, 5:38 PM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) reiterates it expects 2014 revenue to "reach the high end" of a $190M-$205M guidance range (consensus is at $205.7M). The reiteration comes in spite of top customer Samsung's recent struggles.
- Q2 materials sales +32% Y/Y to $35.9M; they grew 38% in Q1. Royalty/license fees +33% Y/Y to $28.1M; Samsung made a $25M payment.
- Materials gross margin was 66.6%, down from 72% in Q1 and 69.3% a year ago. GAAP costs/expenses +28% to $35.3M, with R&D spend totaling $10.5M.
- $7M was spent on buybacks, following the June launch of a $50M buyback program.
- Shares +0.8% AH. Q2 results, PR
Universal Display Corp is engaged in the research, development & commercialization of organic light emitting diode or OLED, technologies & materials for use in displays for wearables, smartphones, tablets & televisions & solid-state lighting applications.
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