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.
Thu, May 7, 4:07 PM| Comment!
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, Apr. 14, 12:31 AM
- Corning (NYSE:GLW) is partnering with OLED lighting product developer OLEDWorks to create OLED lighting panels that use Corning's Willow Glass - a thin, bendable glass offering that has been aimed in part at the wearables market since launching in 2012.
- Corning asserts its offering is "expected to provide two times the light output of traditional OLED lighting panels, enabling increased efficiency and lower power consumption." OLEDWorks CEO David DeJoy: "[T]he team will significantly improve energy efficiency by creatively integrating Corning’s light extraction technology with OLEDWorks’ formulation science and inventive manufacturing processes. Using Corning Willow Glass in our near-term product roadmap expands our OLED lighting portfolio to provide highly flexible and adaptive design statements for a wider variety of lighting applications.”
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) is just two months removed from striking a licensing deal with OLEDWorks. The company previously struck agreements with several other OLED lighting firms.
Wed, Apr. 1, 1:24 AM
- "The iPhone 6 (NASDAQ:AAPL) Has Met Its Match," reads the headline for the WSJ's review of Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) Galaxy S6.
- Reviewer/iPhone 6 owner Joanna Stern: "Like a child who just found out that Santa isn’t real, I have spent the past week questioning everything I know." She's a fan of the S6's glass/metal body with dual Gorilla Glass 4 (NYSE:GLW) panes, as well as its 2K OLED display, improved fingerprint sensor, rapid charging support, and 16MP OIS-capable camera. "The Galaxy S6 destroys HTC’s new One M9 and other flagship Android phones ... on photo quality."
- The Verge's Dieter Bohn gives the S6 8.8/10 stars. "Samsung finally copied the right thing: caring about design." Bohn declares the S6 to have "one of the finest screens I have ever seen on a phone," thanks to a 577 PPI pixel density and improved color awareness. He also calls the device (powered by an 8-core Exynos CPU) "probably the fastest Android phone I’ve ever used."
- BGR's Zach Epstein: "Samsung’s Galaxy S6 features a stunning design that manages to be sleek and elegant, yet modern ... Samsung has raised the bar when it comes to smartphone screens ... Samsung finally stopped obsessing about increasing its [camera] megapixel counts and instead focused on improving its optics, design and software performance ... I’ve never used a phone that charged from empty to full as quickly as this one."
- Samsung's software, though declared to be improved from the S5's (less bloatware, and what remains is often buried), still gets some criticism. Epstein reports seeing a lag with some UI features, and Stern is critical of Samsung's icons and keyboard. Also: Reviewers generally see little reason to pay an extra $100 for the curved S6 Edge, and some Android users might not like the S6's lack of a removable battery or microSD slot.
- Ahead of the reviews, there have been reports Samsung has upped S6 production due to strong early interest. The phone goes on sale on April 10.
- Other reviews: TechCrunch, CNET, Re/code, TechRadar
- Expected S6 suppliers: BRCM, INVN, OLED, SYNA, MXIM, IDTI
- A month ago: Samsung launches metal/glass S6 with Gorilla Glass 4, 2K display, new fingerprint sensor
Mon, Mar. 23, 3:15 PM
- Today's notable tech gainers include OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED +5.7%), salvage auction site Liquidity Services (LQDT +6.2%), auto site TrueCar (TRUE +8.5%), touchscreen tech developer Neonode (NEON +10.4%), hard drive assembly supplier Hutchison (HTCH +7.1%), Web site owner/ISP United Online (UNTD +5.5%), software outsourcing firm Luxoft (LXFT +5.6%), optical component vendor NeoPhotonics (NPTN +8.3%), and U.S. solar installer Solar3D (SLTD +15.2%).
- Many Chinese names are also rallying today. Standouts include online real estate plays SouFun (SFUN +6.9%), E-House (EJ +4%), and Leju (LEJU +8.1%), online beauty product retailer Jumei (JMEI +5.9%), online classifieds platform 58.com (WUBA +5%), and app developers/publishers Sungy Mobile (GOMO +4.7%), Cheetah Mobile (CMCM +7.6%), and China Mobile Games (CMGE +5.9%).
- The list of major decliners is smaller: It includes cloud healthcare software firm Castlight (CSLT -4.8%), microcontroller maker Atmel (ATML -3.1%), supply chain software vendor Manhattan Associates (MANH -4.3%), Chinese solar cell/module maker ReneSola (SOL -5.9%), and RF filter tech developer Resonant (RESN -8.6%).
- Universal Display is rallying to new 52-week highs yet again amid Galaxy S6 enthusiasm. Solar3D is now up 42% over the last 3 trading days. Heavily-shorted Cheetah Mobile is reversing Friday's post-earnings losses. Castlight is adding to the losses seen on Friday following a neutral Wells Fargo launch.
- Previously covered: Digital Ally, Sonus, xG Technology, IPG Photonics, CyberArk, Immersion, Nvidia, EZchip
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.
Sun, Mar. 1, 9:08 PM
- As rumored, Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) Galaxy S6 eschews the plastic-heavy designs of its predecessors in favor a body with a metal frame and both front and back glass panels - both panels use Corning's (NYSE:GLW) recently-launched Gorilla Glass 4 (offers better damage resistance).
- Also as expected: The standard S6 is accompanied by the S6 Edge, a premium model with curved sides. Samsung has also launched a new version of its Gear VR headset (relies on Oculus' VR platform) that uses the S6/S6 Edge for its display instead of the Note 4.
- The S6's display size is unchanged from the S5's 5.1", but (as was the case for the Note 4) the resolution has been upgraded from 1080p to 2560x1440 - that's a positive for OLED materials supplier Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED). An 8-core Samsung Exynos processor powers international S6 models - Qualcomm Snapdragon processors have historically powered U.S. models, but that might not be the case this time.
- A new fingerprint sensor (previous) only requires users to touch the home button (a la Apple's TouchID) rather than swipe over it, as is the case with the S5's sensor. Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA) should receive an ASP boost, provided it remains Samsung's fingerprint sensor supplier and not rival FPC.
- Other features: Wireless charging support; a 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, improved software, and an F/1.9 aperture (good for low-light shots); a 5MP front camera that also has an F/1.9 aperture, 32/64/128GB storage tiers (up from 16/32/64GB); and far less bloatware - Samsung claims the S6 has 40% fewer software features than the S5.
- Initial reactions are positive. "Samsung finally builds a premium smartphone," proclaims Ars Technica. The Verge calls the S6/S6 Edge "dramatically nicer and better phones than Samsung has ever produced." More than a few observers have spotted major design similarities with the iPhone 6 (NASDAQ:AAPL).
- The phones go on sale on April 10. Samsung needs a hit: It's coming off a Q4 where its smartphone unit share fell to 20% from 28.8% a year earlier (per IDC) amid stiff competition from Apple and Chinese Android OEMs.
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
Thu, Feb. 26, 4:09 PM| Comment!
Wed, Feb. 25, 5:35 PM
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OLED vs. ETF Alternatives
Universal Display Corp is engaged in the research, development & commercialization of organic light emitting diode or OLED, technologies & materialsfor use in displays for wearables, smartphones, tablets & televisions & solid-state lighting applications.
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