Oct. 31, 2013, 5:33 PM
- The Japanese IP High Court has reversed the Japanese Patent Office's invalidation of the broad claims in a Universal Display (OLED) patent. The JPO will now take a second look at the matter. (PR)
- Universal asserts the patent in question is one of 60+ covering "four early fundamental phosphorescent OLED inventions." The high court's ruling comes two weeks after Universal announced the EPO had affirmed "the basic inventions and broad patent coverage" of a patent being challenged by Sumitomo, Merck, and BASF, albeit while narrowing the scope of the original claims.
Oct. 17, 2013, 10:52 AM
- TheStreetSweeper on Twitter: "TheStreetSweeper announces new short position in $OLED and imminent release of its next report on a brand-new company today."
- Universal Display (OLED -3.3%) has fallen in response to the disclosure. TheStreetSweeper took aim at the company back in 2011, criticizing insider selling and the terms of the Samsung deal (among other things).
Oct. 7, 2013, 11:17 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB), by far Universal Display's (OLED +3.7%) largest customer, says it has begun mass-producing a 5.7" 1080p flexible OLED panel, and soon plans to launch a phone that makes use of them. A variant of the Galaxy Note 3 (has a 5.7" 1080p display) is a good possibility.
- OLED-Info.com estimates the manufacturing line being used by Samsung can produce a few hundred thousand flexible 5.7" panels per month.
- Meanwhile, LG Display (LPL -0.9%) says it will start mass-production of a 6" curved OLED, while deeming it "the world’s first flexible OLED panel for smartphones." A source tells Reuters LG Electronics (LGEIY.OB) will use the panels to launch an expected curved display phone next month.
Oct. 1, 2013, 2:27 PM
- The Verge's Vlad Savov gives Samsung's (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) $299 Galaxy Gear smartwatch a score of just 4.0/10. He likes the device's display, voice calling abilities, and camera, but not much else. The Gear is deemed too dependent on paired smartphones, and its battery life (one day under normal use) too short. In addition, its notifications are called "uninformative;" and its apps "buggy or substandard."
- Savov: "A smartwatch the Galaxy Gear is not. Frankly, I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to be."
- Engadget's Brad Molen is a little more positive. He calls the Gear comfortable to wear and its performance adequate, but is just as critical of its notifications, and doesn't like the lack of touchless controls. "The Galaxy Gear is a solid effort from Samsung, but it needs time to grow and develop." AnandTech's Brian Klug reaches a similar conclusion.
- Meanwhile, a Korean site reports Apple's (AAPL +2.2%) much-rumored iWatch will feature a flexible OLED display, and that Apple is working on 1.3", 1.4", and 1.5" prototypes. The 1.5" prototype has reportedly "already been made." The Gear has a rigid 1.6" OLED display.
- The report is a bit of good news for Universal Display (OLED -6.7%), currently selling off thanks to a Canaccord downgrade.
- The FT reported in July Apple's iWatch hiring activity is picking up, and points to a 2H14 launch.
Oct. 1, 2013, 9:21 AM
- Canaccord's Jonathan Dorsheimer has downgraded Universal Display (OLED) to Sell and lowered his PT to $19 from $30. Most importantly, he says checks indicate Samsung Display and LG Display (LPL) have in-house R&D programs to create their own phosphorescent OLED materials. He thinks production could begin after Universal patents expire in 2017.
- Dorsheimer is also concerned about OLED TV push-outs.
- Samsung recently bought OLED materials provider Novaled. Universal shares dove when the deal was first reported, but recouped some of their losses after analysts argued Novaled's materials are complementary.
- OLED -7.6% premarket.
Sep. 25, 2013, 12:58 PM
- The Samsung Solutions Exchange (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB), announced this morning, represents the electronics giant's biggest effort yet to grow its enterprise mobile clout, and in doing so become a little less dependent on Google.
- The exchange serves as an app store for enterprise-specific apps, provides access to Samsung's enterprise SDK and 1K+ APIs, and acts as a meeting place for developers and businesses. It complements Samsung's SAFE initiative, which provides the company's Android hardware with a variety of security, device management, and data-syncing features.
- Though Android's smartphone unit share is now over 5x that of the iPhone's, iOS has been faring better in the enterprise, thanks to both demographics and Android security concerns.
- Separately, Samsung announces it will launch a phone with a curved display next month in South Korea. Details are currently light, but there's a good chance the phone will use Universal Display's (OLED +1.1%) flexible OLED tech.
- Also: Samsung says it has developed image sensor tech that significantly improves the light sensitivity and color fidelity of its CMOS image sensors. The technology, known as Isocell, will be used in an 8MP sensor set to be mass-produced in Q4.
- Isocell could make Samsung a tougher competitor to OmniVision (OVTI +0.9%). However, Samsung's rivals might not be crazy about depending on the company for their image sensor needs.
Sep. 24, 2013, 1:32 PM
- Samsung Display and LG Display (LPL +2.1%) have settled their contentious legal battle, which resulted in multiple display patent lawsuits and accusations of trade secret theft.
- Samsung says it has "come to an agreement with LG Display to focus on finding ways to cooperate on patent matters though discussions, and to immediately drop lawsuits" related to LCD and OLED IP.
- The settlement is an incremental positive for Universal Display (OLED +0.8%), which counts both companies as licensees (but currently gets far more revenue from Samsung). In addition to standard mobile OLED displays, both Samsung and LG are working on flexible OLEDs and OLED TV displays.
- Samsung Display was spun off from Samsung Electronics in 2012.
Sep. 12, 2013, 12:45 PM
Sep. 12, 2013, 11:14 AM
- SA contributor and short-seller Manuel Asensio declares a recent filing made to the European Patent Office by IP law firm Lowe Hauptman & Ham suggests "the most important claims" of a key Universal Display (OLED -9.1%) patent (EP-238) related to its PHOLED tech (used in mobile/TV displays) should be "entirely revoked." A hearing is set for November.
- Asensio, who has been bearish on Universal for a while, notes Merck, Sumitomo, and BASF are each calling on the EPO to fully revoke EP-238. He argues the patent "contains UDC's only economically material patent claims," and thinks its revocation "would materially impair UDC's ability to generate future licensing revenue, even from Samsung."
Aug. 14, 2013, 5:34 PM
Aug. 9, 2013, 10:45 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF.PK) and affiliate Cheil Industries (a maker of OLED materials) are buying German OLED materials/tech provider Novaled for €260M ($347M).
- Cheil's CEO promises the deal will yield major OLED R&D synergies. Samsung says it's paying ~10x revenue.
- Universal Display (OLED +13.4%) shares, which dove last week on a Samsung/Novaled report, and partly rebounded after analysts argued Novaled's offerings are complementary, is below yesterday's AH highs, but remain sharply higher in response to its Q2 beat and strong full-year guidance.
- Universal mentioned on its Q2 CC sales of green host materials (used in newer Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S4) rose 192% Q/Q and over 6x Y/Y to $9M. Likewise, green emitter sales rose 186% Q/Q and over 8x Y/Y to $13.1M. Red emitter sales totaled $3.6M, +25% Q/Q but -29% Y/Y.
- The company added product mix and price cuts impacted its materials gross margin, and that there could be some additional margin pressure if host materials sales "proportionally grow faster" than emitter sales.
Aug. 9, 2013, 9:17 AM
Aug. 8, 2013, 5:43 PM
Aug. 8, 2013, 4:55 PM
- Universal Display (OLED) expects 2013 revenue "to reach the high end of its $110M-$125M guidance range" That's going over well in light of fears the opposite might hold true due to softer-than-expected Galaxy S4 sales. Consensus is at $118.8M.
- Q2 materials sales +111% Y/Y to $27.1M. Royalty/license fees +37% Y/Y to $21.2M (payments from Samsung recognized in Q2 and Q4). Possible reasons for surging materials sales: Samsung's strong low-end/mid-range smartphone sales, and rising green emitter use.
- Materials gross margin (a concern following the Q1 report) was 69.4% vs. 75.8% in Q1 and 87.5% a year ago.
- R&D spend +1% Y/Y to $7.3M, SG&A +22% to $6.4M. Patent/amortization costs doubled to $4.5M; Universal attributes this to the Fujitsu deal.
- Operating cash flow +136% Y/Y to $26.4M.
- OLED +20.4% AH. CC at 5PM ET. Q2 results, PR.
Aug. 8, 2013, 4:37 PM
Aug. 8, 2013, 2:12 PM
- With Universal Display (OLED +3.6%) set to announce Q2 results after the bell, Piper’s Jagadish Iyer has reiterated an Underweight, citing concerns about slowing high-end smartphone sales.
- Although Iyer believes Universal will beat Q2 consensus, he sees 2013 revenue coming at the low end of a $110M-125M guidance range. Iyer observes the consensus for 2013 Galaxy S4 sales has fallen to 60M, below prior estimates and boding poorly for Universal's full-year numbers.
- Iver also argues "the overall margin squeeze that Samsung is suffering" is acting as "another motivator" for the company to lower its Galaxy hardware materials costs (previous).
- Universal shares recently sold off on reports Samsung is moving to purchase OLED materials/tech provider Novaled. They pared their losses after analysts defended the company.
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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