Today, 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.
Tue, Sep. 29, 12:35 PM
- As expected, Google (GOOG +0.5%) has refreshed its Nexus phone lineup with two models - a smaller device from LG known as the Nexus 5X, and a phablet from Huawei known as the Nexus 6P. (live blog)
- The 6P sports a 5.7" 2K OLED display - a moderate positive for Universal Display (OLED -0.7%), which still depends heavily on Samsung phone sales - and the 5X a 5.2" display. Both devices support 4K and slow-motion video recording, come with fingerprint sensors and reversible USB Type-C ports (said to charge twice as fast as the iPhone 6+), sport 12MP rear cameras with large 1.55-micron pixels (good for low-light photography), and run on stock Android 6.0 (Marshmallow).
- Traditionally, Google hasn't aimed for Nexus devices to become mass-market hits, but rather to serve as proof-of-concepts for its vision of what Android hardware and software should be. The company unveiled its Project Fi mobile phone service (only works with the Nexus 6 phablet for now) in April.
- Google has also announced Android now has over 1.4B active users, and Google Play over 1B active users. The company stated in June 2014 Android's user base had topped 1B.
- Update: Google states the Nexus 6P and 5X will join the Nexus 6 in working with Project Fi when they go on sale in October. Pricing has also been disclosed: The 6P will start at $499, and the 5X at $379.
- Update 2: Some more hardware launches: The Pixel C, a 10.2" Android tablet that starts at $499 and has a $149 detachable keyboard accessory; a new Chromecast HDMI dongle with an improved Wi-Fi radio; and Chromecast Audio, a $35 Wi-Fi streaming device that plugs into existing speakers.
Fri, Sep. 4, 6:48 PM
- Digitimes (citing Japanese media) reports Mitsubishi Chemical and Pioneer have begun sampling "the first blue light-less OLED lighting module made with a wet coating process for the light-emitting layer." The modules are expected to enter mass-production in early 2016, and help cut production costs by over 60%.
- OLEDs enable thinner lighting products than LEDs and other alternatives, and also provide energy efficiency and temperature benefits. However, high prices have limited adoption. Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) formed a partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical back in 2006, and struck a licensing deal with Pioneer in 2011.
- Separately, Panasonic exec Masahiro Shinada predicts OLED TVs will be cheap enough for average consumers in 2-3 years. "I'm very confident panel cost will go down ... Last year, the panel suppliers' yield was very, very low level. But currently this ratio is now growing." OLED TV prices currently start in the ~$2,000 range.
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
Thu, Aug. 6, 4:08 PM
Fri, Jul. 10, 7:30 PM
- Not content with the 2K-resolution displays found on the Galaxy Note 4 and S6, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) plans to develop an 11K-resolution display sporting a whopping 2250 pixels per inch (ppi), roughly 4x that of the S6's 577. The company hopes to show off a prototype in time for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
- For a standard smartphone display, the human eye would have trouble detecting an increase in resolution from 2K to 4K, never mind 11K. However, Samsung suggests its goal isn't to provide sharper text or videos, but to enable quality glasses-free 3D effects.
- No word on whether the display will be an LCD or OLED. Given the higher materials costs involved with higher-resolution displays, Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) could benefit if 11K displays are ever mass-produced.
Mon, Jul. 6, 12:07 PM
- South Korea's Dong-a Ilbo reports LG Display (LPL -0.9%) plans to invest up to KRW900B ($803M) in a new small/medium-sized flexible OLED panel production line to service the smartphone and wearable display markets. Universal Display (OLED +1.5%), which struck a new OLED licensing deal with LPL in January, is higher.
- LPL has already been ramping large-panel OLED production, as LG Electronics continues bringing new OLED TV sets to market. The company also supplies OLEDs for the Apple Watch, and will reportedly remain the sole display supplier for the next-gen Watch.
- See also: Why Now Is The Time To Buy LG Display
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
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
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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