Wed, Nov. 25, 3:09 PM
- Japan's Nikkei reports Apple (AAPL -0.5%) will launch iPhones sporting OLED displays starting in 2018. To date, the company has exclusively used LCDs for its retina displays.
- The paper adds securing enough OLEDs to meet Apple's needs (the company sells over 200M iPhones/year) could be difficult, and that Apple will "work over the next year or so" with suppliers to see if it can obtain enough displays and eliminate technical drawbacks such as performance degradation.
- iPhone LCD supplier LG Display (LPL +6.9%), which has already unveiled plans to invest ~$8.5B in OLED manufacturing through 2018, is said to be "planning capacity upgrades." OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED +5.2%) have caught a bid on the Nikkei's report; LPL was already higher on the day.
- OLEDs have long been a staple on Samsung's Galaxy S and Note lines. Supporters of the technology praise its high contrast/deep blacks and potential thickness and power consumption advantages. Apple, however, has argued its LCDs provide superior color accuracy.
- There have long been rumors Apple is thinking of adopting OLEDs. The company recently filed a patent application for an integrated OLED display and touch panel, with a fingerprint reader located underneath.
- Earlier: Apple buys Star Wars motion capture tech developer Faceshift
- Five months ago: Apple reportedly working on iPhone design that eliminates home button
Thu, Nov. 19, 12:36 PM
- Universal Display (OLED +9.6%) is up 17% over the last two days. Possibly helping: The USPTO has published a patent application from Apple (has long been the subject of rumors it's testing/thinking of using OLEDs) for an integrated OLED display and touch panel, with a fingerprint reader underneath.
- In the application, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) states integrating an OLED stack and touch sensors on a silicon substrate "can allow for an extremely high number of pixels per inch," and that arranging OLED sub-pixels side-by-side with touch sensors "can also lead to a wider viewing angle display with a higher contrast ratio, higher brightness, and more vibrant colors without compromising touch sensitivity."
- Also: Reuters has published an article highlighting LG's recent OLED TV price cuts, made possible by recent production improvements and plant investments. Two sets now sell for less than $2K. LG Display (LPL +3.2%) recently promised to invest at least KRW10T ($8.5B) in OLED manufacturing through 2018.
- Universal jumped two weeks ago after beating Q3 estimates and narrowing its full-year guidance. Shares are at their highest levels since August.
- Update: Also of note: Korea's Digital Times reports LG Display plans to invest (perhaps using the funds previously allocated for OLED expansion) up to $4.2B to build a new OLED plant in Paju, South Koirea. The plant is expected to go into production in the 2017-2018 timeframe.
Thu, Nov. 5, 5:26 PM
- Following its Q3 beat, Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) forecasts 2015 revenue of $200M with potential upside or downside of 3%. The company previously guided for 5% downside and 15% upside.
- OLED material sales rose 24% Y/Y in Q3 to $34.1M, with an $11.3M increase in emitter sales offsetting a $4.6M drop on host material sales. With Samsung making licensing payments in Q2 and Q4, royalty/license revenue totaled $5.2M, down $200K Y/Y.
- Material gross margin (closely watched) rose to 79% from 75% in Q2 and 73% a year ago (boosted EPS). Costs/expenses rose 16% Y/Y to $31.1M.
- Shares have risen to $38.20 after hours.
- Q3 results, PR
Fri, Oct. 16, 10:48 AM
- Goldman has downgraded Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) to Neutral, and cut its target by $10 to $40. Shares have fallen below $36 in response.
- A week ago, Universal jumped as Cowen reiterated an Outperform, while noting LG OLED TV price cuts - LG's cheapest model is available for $1,799 while supplies last - and Korean government plans to offer fresh incentives (tax benefits, tariff cuts, etc.) for local OLED manufacturing as Chinese and Japanese competition grows.
Fri, Oct. 9, 10:43 AM
- Cowen has reiterated an Outperform rating and $60 target for Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED). Shares have rallied towards $39.
- Earlier this week, Cowen argued Samsung's Q3 pre-announcement boded well for Universal, given Samsung's better-than-expected numbers appeared to stem from OLED and logic IC strength. "When we visited Seoul in September, Samsung noted rising [OLED panel] shipments to other OEMs along with better Y/Y compares for Galaxy models. We note recent [OLED-supporting] models including Google Nexus 6P, and Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL."
- Short-covering could be helping out: Universal had 3.7M shares (nearly 10% of the float) shorted as of Sep. 15.
Mon, Aug. 17, 6:19 PM
- LG Display (NYSE:LPL) plans to invest at least KRW10T ($8.47B) in OLED manufacturing through 2018, aiming for a bigger chunk of a growing market in which Samsung is still easily the biggest player. The investments will go towards both large-screen OLED panels for TV sets and signs, and smaller panels for phones/tablets, wearables, and cars.
- Could some of the capacity go towards panels used by Apple? LG currently supplies OLEDs for the Apple Watch, and there's speculation Apple will use OLEDs in future iPhones/iPads.
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) is seven months removed from striking a licensing deal with LPL that lasts until 2022. Universal's shares rose 5% today to $40.67.
Thu, Aug. 6, 5:14 PM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) CFO Sidney Rosenblatt: "During [Q2], dynamic shifts in market strategies resulted in numerous new product introductions that utilized our new red and green emitters. At the same time, these shifts also negatively impacted demand for established products that used our existing host material, which led a customer to significantly reduce its forecast for this host material."
- A $33M inventory write-down has been taken, largely related to host material. Universal's host sales also took a hit last year, after Samsung opted not to use them in certain new phones.
- In spite of the Q2 miss, Universal is reiterating 2015 revenue guidance of $200M, with upside potential of 15% and downside potential of 5%. Consensus is at $212.1M.
- An $11.7M Y/Y drop in host material sales led total material revenue to fall 32% Y/Y to $24.3M. Royalty/license revenue rose 20% to $33.7M, with Samsung paying $30M vs. $25M a year ago.
- Excluding the write-down, material gross margin was 75%, improved from 68% in Q1 and 67% a year ago. Operating expenses (non-GAAP) fell 16% Y/Y to $29.6M. Universal ended Q2 with $356M in cash, and no debt.
- Shares have dropped to $42.72 in AH trading.
- Q2 results, PR
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.
Fri, May 8, 11:14 AM
- Nearly unchanged in AH trading yesterday, Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) has taken off today after beating Q1 EPS estimates (while missing on revenue) and reiterating full-year revenue guidance of $200M (with up to 5% downside and 15% upside).
- Likely providing a lift: Though revenue missed estimates, Universal's deferred revenue balance soared to $51M ($25.6M current, $25.4M long-term) from $5.8M at the end of Q4. When asked about the growth on the CC (transcript), CEO Steve Abramson noted Universal received payments for 3 deals during the quarter, and that much of the license revenue has been classified as deferred.
- Boosting Q1 EPS: Material gross margin was 68%, down from 72% a year ago but up from Q4's 57%. Volume growth (lifted by the Galaxy S6) helped offset "competitive pricing pressures." CEO Steve Abramson states Universal is still targeting a 60%-70% GM range.
- Also helping: Operating expenses fell by $500K Y/Y to $20.8M. R&D spend fell by ~$300K to $9.9M, and SG&A spend by ~$200K to $6.2M. Green emitter sales totaled $14.4M, red emitter sales (growing) $6.3M, and green host sales (declining as Samsung turns to an affiliate) $4.4M.
Wed, Apr. 15, 2:40 PM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) has rallied to its highest levels since 2011 after Samsung announced early Galaxy S6 sales are "much higher" than initially expected, and that it expects total sales for the S6 and curved S6 Edge to top 70M.
- The S6 sports a 2K OLED display that requires more materials than the 1080p display used by S5. Reviews for the metal/glass flagship phone have been quite positive.
Tue, Mar. 17, 5:38 PM
Tue, Mar. 17, 2:50 PM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) has surged to new 52-week highs again. Today's gains have come on volume of 1.54M shares, more than 2x a 3-month daily average of 689K.
- Universal has been buoyed by reports of strong early interest in Samsung's Galaxy S6, and perhaps also by expectations Apple Watch will use OLEDs (though this has been expected for some time).
- Also, there have been reports Samsung's phone mix is shifting towards OLED models relative to LCD models. The electronics giant's high-end phones have relied on OLEDs for a long time, but it still uses LCDs for many cheaper models.
Fri, Mar. 13, 3:15 PM
- The Nasdaq is down 0.9%, and major tech decliners are outnumbering major gainers by a sound margin.
- Notable gainers include 3D printer maker ExOne (XONE +2.7%), OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED +3.9%), stock photo marketplace Shutterstock (SSTK +4%), flash storage array vendor Violin Memory (VMEM +8.2%), and Wi-Fi hardware vendor Aerohive (HIVE +4.6%).
- For the second day in a row, Chinese companies are well-represented among major decliners. The list includes online retailer Vipshop (VIPS -4.8%), microblogging platform Weibo (WB -4.2%), auto site Autohome (ATHM -4.3%), online real estate plays SouFun (SFUN -5.3%) and Leju (LEJU -5.9%), and mobile game publisher iDreamSky (DSKY -4.5%).
- Other major decliners include flash sales site Zulily (ZU -5.8%), server maker Super Micro (SMCI -3.7%), fleet management software vendor FleetMatics (FLTX -3.9%), and 4G baseband modem maker Sequans (SQNS -9.1%).
- Universal Display is adding to yesterday's big gains, and appears to be benefiting from early signs of strong Galaxy S6 demand. Zulily has reversed yesterday's gains. Weibo's losses come two days after the company posted a Q4 revenue beat and offered in-line guidance.
- Previously covered: IBM, Ebix, NXP/Freescale, Qiwi, eHealth, Pandora, InterCloud, ChipMOS, Demandware, Imperva, Rudolph, Globalstar, ChannelAdvisor
Thu, Mar. 12, 12:45 PM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) has rallied to new 52-week highs today. Its move has come on volume of 1.26M shares, well above a 3-month daily average of 662K.
- Signs of strong early demand for Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge (unveiled on March 1, going on sale on April 10) could be giving the OLED materials/IP provider a lift. Samsung has announced S6 pre-orders have topped 20M, and Korea's Electronic Times has reported Samsung has upped its April S6/S6 Edge production target by 1M to 8M.
- The S6 sports a quad-HD OLED display that requires more materials than the S5's 1080p display. Its use of a metal/glass body (as compared with the plastic bodies of its predecessors) has been well-received.
- Samsung's shares have already benefited from S6 enthusiasm: Though they fell overnight in Seoul, they're still up 7% since the March 1 launch event.
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.
Thu, Feb. 26, 5:09 PM
- Though it beat Q4 revenue estimates (while missing on EPS), Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) is setting a 2015 "base revenue forecast" of $200M, below a $211.4M consensus. The company believes the forecast has a "downside range" of 5%, and "upside potential" of 15%.
- The outlook is attributed to uncertain timing for OLED TV and flexible OLED production ramps, as well as for new mobile products featuring OLED displays. It assumes $60M in Samsung license revenue, and a one-quarter lag in LG Display royalty payments.
- CFO Sidney Rosenblatt: "The key takeaway is that we believe this transitional year of strategic capacity investment and product expansion in the OLED industry will set the framework for the next wave of market growth, which we anticipate to more fully materialize in 2016 and beyond."
- Materials sales rose 10% Y/Y in Q4 to $28.1M, after declining 9% in Q3 (believed to be due to a lack of host materials sales for the Galaxy Note 4). Royalty/license fees rose 21% to $28M, with Samsung making a $25M payment (up from $20M a year ago).
- Hurting EPS: Materials gross margin fell to 57% from 73% in Q3 and 70% a year ago; Universal notes materials costs rose thanks to a $3.9M inventory write-down, as well as mix changes and higher shipments. Operating expenses (including materials costs) rose 30% Y/Y to $39.1M.
- Shares have fallen to $35.25 AH.
- Q4 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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