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
Nov. 6, 2014, 4:16 PM
Nov. 3, 2014, 1:12 PM
- Canaccord's Jonathan Dorsheimer believes Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) is set to lose OLED green host material share to Samsung affiliate Cheil industries for the Galaxy S5, and also sees Samsung using Cheil as a supplier for future phones.
- In a base case scenario, Dorsheimer sees Universal losing 33% of its 2H14 green host sales, and 50% in 2015 and beyond. He estimates such a loss would respectively affect 2H14, 2015, and 2016 sales by $8.4M, $30.4M, and $29.4M. A bear-case scenario of 100% share loss yields estimated revenue losses of $16.7M, $60.8M, and $58.8M.
- Dorsheimer does note Universal could benefit from Apple Watch-related materials sales - Apple Watch is believed to feature an OLED display, and Universal client LG Display (LPL -0.3%) is the rumored supplier. But he thinks the device might only yield $1M-$2M in quarterly revenue for Universal.
- Q3 results are due on Thursday. Universal plunged in July in response to news Samsung/Cheil is buying German OLED materials provider Novaled, but rebounded after analysts argued Novaled's offerings are complementary.
Oct. 7, 2014, 12:25 PM
- Universal Display (OLED -2.6%) has sold off after top customer Samsung warned its Q3 sales will be down ~20% Y/Y due to mobile weakness.
- Samsung, contending with both tough Chinese competition and the iPhone 6 launch, mentioned a declining smartphone ASP took a toll on its results. That suggests sales of the high-end devices (the Galaxy S5, Note 3, etc.) that Universal depends heavily on for OLED materials says may have been particularly soft.
Sep. 4, 2014, 1:10 PM
- Apple's (AAPL +0.5%) smartwatch will join the iPhone 6 in sporting an NFC radio that will enable a tap-to-pay payments solution, the WSJ reports. Given recent reports, NXP (NXPI +0.5%) is the likely chip supplier.
- The WSJ also backs up the Nikkei in stating the watch will feature a curved OLED display - a moderate positive for Universal Display (OLED +6.8%) - and reiterates two sizes will be offered.
- At the same time, Apple is said to be "still working out engineering kinks in production," and one source says there's "no way" the watch ships this year (meshes with a re/code report). Pre-orders will be taken in advance.
- No word on pricing; re/code has reported Apple has mulled a $400 price point. Unsurprisingly, Jony Ive is said to have overseen development. Ive has reportedly boasted Apple's watch spells trouble for Switzerland.
- Meanwhile, KGI's Ming-Chi Kuo reports the watch will have 8GB of storage, and that the display sizes will respectively be 1.3" and 1.5". Kuo reported of NFC support back in April, and of limited 2014 production in July.
Sep. 3, 2014, 10:13 AM
- As rumored, Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) Galaxy Note 4 sports a 5.7" quad-HD (2560x1440) display; the Note 3 has a 1080p display. Other improvements include a revamped S Pen (twice the pressure sensitivity, among other things), a metal rim, and the addition of optical image stabilization, a fingerprint scanner, and a heart rate sensor.
- The U.S. version will run on Qualcomm's (QCOM +0.8%) high-end Snapdragon 805 processor (2.7GHz., quad-core) and support Cat-6 LTE; the Note 3 uses the Snapdragon 800. Some international models will use Samsung's Exynos 5433 processor (1.9GHz., 8-core) and only support Cat-4 LTE. The 5433 beat the 805 in some early benchmarks.
- Samsung has also launched the Note Edge, a phone with combines most of the Note 4's specs with a display that curves downwards at the sides. Samsung argues the edges of the display can be used to quickly glance at information while the phone is lying on a table.
- Samsung, which pioneered the phablet market 3 years ago, is counting on the Note 4/Edge to both counter hungry Chinese OEMs that have been grabbing share, and deal with the pending launch (per numerous reports) of a 5.5" iPhone 6. The company still maintains a high phablet share in the U.S.
- Universal Display (OLED +1.4%) benefits from Samsung's use of a quad-HD display, since the panel requires more OLED materials than a 1080p display.
Aug. 7, 2014, 5:38 PM
- Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) reiterates it expects 2014 revenue to "reach the high end" of a $190M-$205M guidance range (consensus is at $205.7M). The reiteration comes in spite of top customer Samsung's recent struggles.
- Q2 materials sales +32% Y/Y to $35.9M; they grew 38% in Q1. Royalty/license fees +33% Y/Y to $28.1M; Samsung made a $25M payment.
- Materials gross margin was 66.6%, down from 72% in Q1 and 69.3% a year ago. GAAP costs/expenses +28% to $35.3M, with R&D spend totaling $10.5M.
- $7M was spent on buybacks, following the June launch of a $50M buyback program.
- Shares +0.8% AH. Q2 results, PR
Aug. 7, 2014, 4:10 PM
Aug. 5, 2014, 12:45 PM
- Cautious overall on small caps (NYSEARCA:IWM) due to valuation concerns, Goldman's David Kostin nevertheless has a list of 25 names with market caps less than $4B which could offer at least 25% upside to his firm's price target over the next year.
- The list skews towards Consumer Discretionary - Lumber Lidquidators (LL +2.1%), Office Depot (ODP -2.4%), RetailMeNot (SALE -26.1%), Ryland (RYL +0.5%), Steven Madden (SHOO +2.7%), Vitamin Shoppe (VSI -8.2%) - and Tech - Universal Display (OLED -0.2%), Qlik Technologies (QLIK -1.6%), Proofpoint (PFPT -1.5%), Polycom (PLCM +0.2%), Nimble Storage (NMBL -0.3%), Marketo (MKTO +1.1%), Infinera (INFN +1.1%), Cornerstone Ondemand (CSOD -0.9%), GT Advanced Technology (GTAT +5.7%).
- Also included are Health Care names: Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO -1.1%), NPS Pharma (NPSP +0.7%), NuVasive (NUVA -1.8%), Synageva (GEVA -1.6%); Consumer Staples: Darling Ingredients (DAR -0.8%); Materials: Axiall (AXLL -1%), Boise Cascade (BCC -0.9%); Industrials: Granite Construction (GVA +0.7%), Financials: MGIC Investment (MTG +1.2%), Radian (RDN +1.7%).
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
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.
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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