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
Wed, Feb. 25, 5:35 PM
- ABTL, ADSK, AEGR, AHT, AIRM, AL, APEI, ARUN, AVD, BCEI, BIO, BLOX, CERS, CLNE, CROX, CSU, CUBE, DGI, ECOL, ECPG, ENOC, ENV, EVC, EVHC, GPS, HLF, HPTX, IM, IMMR, JCP, KBR, KND, LYV, MAIN, MDRX, MENT, MITT, MNST, MTZ, MVNR, NMBL, NOG, NVAX, OLED, OUT, OVTI, PE, PEGA, PFMT, PKT, PODD, PSIX, RBA, RMTI, ROST, RP, RPTP, RRMS, SB, SBAC, SEMG, SGM, SPLK, SRC, SREV, SWN, SZYM, TPC, TUBE, TUMI, TWOU, UHS, UIL, UNXL, VGR, WIFI, WTR, WTW
Thu, Feb. 19, 7:11 PM
- Leading U.S. OLED light engine/panel maker OLEDWorks has signed a licensing deal with Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED), under which it will pay an up-front license fee and ongoing royalties on the sale of lighting products featuring Universal's IP. The agreement last for the lifetime of the covered patents.
- Universal is a month removed from reaching an OLED lighting license deal with Sumitomo. Q4 results are due on Feb. 26.
- OLED +1.3% AH to $36.29.
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
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
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.
Other News & PR