Jul. 18, 2014, 2:51 PM
- "We believe Skyworks’ (SWKS +13.5%) diverse analog portfolio is enabling content share gains in its handset customer base," writes Canaccord after taking in the RF component giant's FQ3 beat and very strong FQ4 guidance.
- Canaccord thinks the FQ4 outlook is due to a mixture of strong iPhone 6 content share, growing sales of higher dollar-content integrated solutions to Chinese/emerging markets OEMs (gaining Android share), and "growing traction" for the company's non-phone analog IC business.
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi, mobile infrastructure, and embedded products (the proverbial "Internet of Things") are some of the non-mobile RF markets Canaccord sees Skyworks growing its sales to. Needham, for its part, also sees the smart grid, automotive, and medical markets providing a boost.
- On the CC (transcript), CEO David Aldrich declared broader mobile RF demand is benefiting from the need to support a larger number of spectrum bands - Avago (AVGO +4.3%) also benefits from this - as well as growing system complexity (driving a shift towards integrated solutions) and OEM efforts to improve signal performance.
- RF component peers Avago, RF Micro (RFMD +6.7%), TriQuint (TQNT +6.8%), and Resonant (RESN +7%) are outperforming amid a tech rally, as are several other mobile suppliers. INVN +3.9%. HIMX +2.9%. OLED +5.3%. CRUS +2.9%.
Jun. 27, 2014, 12:14 PM
- Goldman, a long-time Universal Display (OLED +7.3%) bull, has issued another upbeat note: The firm sees a variety of upcoming mobile, TV, and wearables product launches boosting Universal's growth.
- Goldman recently argued Samsung's new Galaxy Tab S (features a 2K OLED display) will act as a positive catalyst; volumes should be much lower than the Galaxy S5 and Note 3's, but revenue/device higher.
- Separately, Korean media reports state LG Display (LPL +1.6%) plans to spend $788M to expand OLED production, in part to address the nascent OLED TV market (has seen some recent exits). For his part, LPL CEO Han Sang-beom says his company is thinking of expanding production of plastic OLEDs for smartphones and smartwatches.
- Reuters previously reported LPL will be the exclusive display supplier for Apple's iWatch. The Nikkei has reported the iWatch will feature a curved OLED display.
Jun. 4, 2014, 5:19 PM| 1 Comment
Jun. 2, 2014, 10:25 AM
- Rosenblatt Securities reports Google is testing a Samsung OLED microdisplay chipset for use with Google Glass.
- Likewise, OLED-Info.com reports Google "isn't happy" with the performance of Glass' LCoS microdisplay and "wants to upgrade to an OLED." However, the site adds Google is thinking of using French startup MicroOLED's products, rather than Samsung's.
- Himax (HIMX) shares aren't responding well to the reports. They tumbled a week ago amid rumors Google, which has a 6.3% stake in Himax, will no longer use the company's LCoS microdisplays. Synaptics-Renesas worries also appear to have played a role.
- Universal Display (OLED +0.6%) is edging higher. The Glass reports follow one stating Samsung will be providing Oculus with OLED displays sporting resolutions above 1080p for use in its VR headsets.
- Samsung has been dabbling in OLED microdisplays for years, but its products haven't gained much traction thus far. The Korea Times reported a year ago the next-gen version of Glass will rely on a Samsung microdisplay.
May. 30, 2014, 4:48 PM
- Engadget reports Samsung (SSNLF) is partnering with Oculus VR (FB) to build a mobile/media-focused VR headset.
- Not surprisingly, Oculus is said to be handling the product's software/UI, and Samsung the hardware. Unlike the gaming-focused Oculus Rift, the headset won't have a display of its own, but will instead (using a slot within the device) rely on a smartphone to act as its screen.
- The phone's rear camera can allow a user to stay connected to the outside world, and might also enable augmented reality apps. Oculus is reportedly providing Samsung with an early version of its mobile SDK,
- As part of the tie-up, Samsung is providing Oculus with OLED displays sporting resolutions above 1080p for its own hardware; Universal Display (OLED) should be happy to hear that. The latest Rift dev. kit (DK2) features a 5" 1080p OLED display.
- Mark Zuckerberg has insisted from the start the Oculus deal is about enabling a wide variety of VR applications, of which gaming is just one.
May. 13, 2014, 10:35 AM
- Korea's Naver.com reports Samsung (SSNLF) plans to launch the Galaxy S5 Prime, a version of its flagship phone that features a 2K (2560x1440) display, in mid-June via local carriers SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+. The phone will reportedly cost just $50-$60 more than the regular S5.
- There were reports the S5 would sport a 2K display prior to its launch. Samsung instead went with the 1080p resolution used for the S4, albeit with an improved OLED panel that has received good reviews.
- Samsung stated last November it plans to launch phones with 2K displays in 2014, and phones with 4K displays in 2015. Universal Display (OLED -0.1%) wouldn't mind seeing that happen, given OLED panels with higher resolutions require more OLED materials.
- Naver's report doesn't state whether the S5 Prime will feature a metal case, as has been previously rumored. Samsung has received its share of criticism for sticking with plastic cases for its high-end phones, and the company recently replaced its mobile design chief.
- Apple, a fan of using aluminum cases (the plastic 5C excepted), is expected to launch 4.7" and 5.5" iPhones in 2H14.
May. 12, 2014, 2:56 PM
- The Nikkei reports Sony (SNE +0.5%) is halting OLED TV development. Universal Display (OLED -5.2%) spiked sharply lower on the report, but has recovered some of its losses.
- Sony, which showed off the world's first 4K OLED TV in January, has already called off an OLED TV JV with Panasonic. Today's report follows one from a week ago stating Samsung is scrapping plans for an OLED TV plant, as sky-high price tags relegate the technology to niche status for now in spite of its image quality and form factor strengths.
- Universal is giving back a portion of the big gains it saw on Friday due to a Q1 beat and guidance hike that drew plenty of sell-side praise.
May. 8, 2014, 5:49 PM
May. 8, 2014, 4:59 PM
- Universal Display (OLED) now expects 2014 revenue to "reach the high end" of a prior guidance range of $190M-$205M; the consensus is at $199.2M.
- Materials sales (93% of revenue, given Samsunng licensing payments arrive in Q2 and Q4) rose 38% Q/Q and 176% Y/Y to $35.3M. Materials gross margin (closely watched) rose 220 bps Q/Q and fell 370 bps Y/Y to 72%.
- R&D spend rose 14% Y/Y to $10.2M, and SG&A spend 24% to $6.4M.
- Shares had fallen over the last six weeks due to a tech stock selloff and Samsung-related concerns.
- Q1 results, PR
May. 8, 2014, 4:14 PM| 6 Comments
May. 6, 2014, 3:52 PM
- Digitimes reports Samsung (SSNLF) "putting in weaker-than-expected handset component orders to the supply chain" amid toughening competition, particularly in China. The site adds Samsung, which last month launched its latest flagship (the Galaxy S5), is mostly expected to cut orders for cheaper smartphones.
- The report comes a few days after InvenSense (INVN -2.8%) offered a soft June quarter outlook, while estimating Samsung will return to accounting for a mid-30s % of revenue after making up 47% of March quarter sales.
- Strategy Analytics estimates Samsung saw its smartphone share fall 120 bps Y/Y to 31.2% in Q1 (89M shipments out of 285M), following many quarters of steady share gains. Strategy also estimates Lenovo (LNVGY) grew its share to 4.7% from 3.9%, and that Huawei's share was steady at 3.9%.
- Other Chinese OEMs, including Xiaomi, ZTE, and Coolpad, have also been seeing healthy shipment growth amid an industry mix shift towards cheaper phones aimed at emerging markets. Xiaomi (also a major InvenSense client) is looking to roughly double its shipments in 2014 to 40M.
- Other suppliers with heavy Samsung exposure: OLED, MXIM, SYNA, ANAD.
May. 5, 2014, 2:13 PM
- The Nikkei reports Samsung (SSNLF) has scrapped plans to build an OLED TV plant due to yield challenges and pricing concerns. Universal Display (OLED -7.7%) shares aren't taking the news well.
- Samsung, by far the world's biggest producer and (via its phone unit) consumer of OLED panels, is reportedly thinking of building a new plant to make small/mid-sized OLED panels for mobile devices. But it also likely won't release new OLED TV sets "for a while."
- Samsung and LG have launched OLED sets that are thinner and lighter than LCD alternatives (owing to their lack of a backlight), and which have earned praise for their brightness and picture quality. But sky-high price tags have relegated the sets to niche status. DisplaySearch estimates only 4,400 sets were sold last year.
- Sony and Panasonic called off an OLED TV JV last December.
Apr. 14, 2014, 2:53 PM
- U.S. first-day Galaxy S5 sales were up 30% relative to first-day S4 sales a year ago, Samsung (SSNLF) declares. The electronics giant also states sales in certain other markets doubled Y/Y.
- Pac Crest's checks also paint a favorable picture of U.S. S5 sales: The firm estimates average inventory sell-through hit 60% within four hours, and thinks sales were especially strong at Verizon thanks to a 2-for-1 promotion.
- Needham thinks S5 sales could reach 10M sales in 25 days vs. 27 for the S4. The firm is reiterating a Buy on touch controller/fingerprint sensor supplier Synaptics (SYNA +3.7%).
- Two caveats: 1) Samsung's numbers typically measure sell-in to carriers/distributors rather than consumer sell-through. 2) S4 sales also got off to a hot start, but later slowed down.
- Compared with the S4, Samsung has taken a no-frills approach with the S5, emphasizing practical features such as waterproofing/dust-resistance over sensor-based features (Smart Pause, Smart Scroll, etc.) often derided as gimmicks. The company has also provided modest discounts relative to the S4 (the S5 still typically goes for $600+ unsubsidized), as it contends with aggressive high-end pricing from Chinese Android rivals.
- Synaptics is outperforming, as is motion sensor supplier InvenSense (INVN +1.7%), which gets over 30% of its revenue from Samsung. S5 OLED materials supplier Universal Display (OLED +0.6%) is up slightly. Synaptics reports on April 24, and InvenSense on May 1.
Mar. 31, 2014, 6:52 PM
- An early teardown (translation) of Samsung's (SSNLF) Galaxy S5 has turned up the same 6-axis InvenSense (INVN) motion sensor found in the Note 3. The InvenSense part displaces the STMicroelectronics (STM) motion sensor found in the S4.
- Multiple Maxim (MXIM) power ICs were also uncovered. Though Barclays thinks Maxim lost the gesture IC slot it had in the S4 to rival AMS, it nonetheless thinks its dollar content grew ~10% (previous).
- An NXP (NXPI) NFC controller/secure element displaced the Broadcom (BRCM) NFC chip that went into the S4; Barclays estimates the design win will be worth $50M-$60M to NXP, assuming average content of $1. Broadcom is still expected to get $4/unit for supplying the S5's Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip.
- Synaptics (SYNA) is believed to have the S5's touch controller slot and (though not revealed in the teardown) its fingerprint/swipe sensor slot. The company's S4 touch controller win delivered a windfall.
- Though a Skyworks (SWKS) power amplifier module and discrete amplifier were found, and a Wi-Fi filter is believed to be present, Barclays thinks Skyworks' content share likely fell, thanks to the absence of Wi-Fi switch/LNA content. It also thinks the total value of the S5's Wi-Fi RF content is lower due to Broadcom's use of internal power amplifiers (possibly a negative for S4 supplier ANAD).
- Separately, DisplayMate calls the S5's OLED display "the best-performing smartphone display we have ever tested," after doing an in-depth analysis. The display's color accuracy, brightness, ambient lighting performance, and power efficiency all receive high marks. OLED materials/tech supplier Universal Display (OLED) will be happy to hear that.
Feb. 27, 2014, 6:30 PM
- Universal Display (OLED) expects 2014 revenue of $190M-$205M, in-line with a $198.9M consensus. At the midpoint, the guidance range implies 35% Y/Y revenue growth.
- Materials sales totaled $25.5M in Q4, -16% Q/Q and +153% Y/Y; green host and emitter sales once more lead the way. Royalty/license fees +50% to $23.1M; Samsung licensing revenue rose to $20M from $15M a year earlier.
- Materials gross margin rose 210 bps Q/Q and fell 2290 bps Y/Y to 69.8%. Opex rose 52% Y/Y to $30.1M.
- OLED +0.9% AH. Q4 results, PR
Feb. 27, 2014, 4:55 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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