OLED is a display technology that enables thin, efficient, flexible and bright displays, TVs and lighting devices. OLED displays offer the world's best image quality - and enables future foldable and rollable displays (see more here - What is OLED?).
The OLED market is already a multi-billion dollar market, led by Samsung and LG Display with their smartphone and TV OLED businesses. It is estimated that OLED displays generated around $25 billion in revenues in 2018 (and analysts expect the market to continue its fast growth in the future).
For public investors interested in the OLED market, there are several good options:
- Universal Display Corporation: UDC is an OLED pioneer, and holds many of the key patents in the industry (mostly around efficient phosphorescent OLED emitters). Virtually all AMOLED displays on the market adopt UDC's PHOLED materials, and the company experienced very fast growth in revenue in recent years. Universal Display's stock ticker is OLED, you can see the OLED share price here.
- eMagin: eMagin is an OLED microdisplay pioneer, and has been developing and producing such displays for many years, focusing on the defense market and recently also on the consumer VR/AR market. eMagin's stock ticker is EMAN.
- OLED display makers: OLED display makers can be a good investment opportunity - especially companies that have a focus on OLED displays - such as Samsung Display and LG display, BOE Display and more.
- OLED equipment makers: There are several public equipment companies (for example Coherent and Applied Materials) that enjoyed the recent OLED capacity expansion as new OLED fabs require new equipment to produce OLED displays. These companies could be a good investment opportunity to investors who believes a new wave of OLED capacity expansion is near.
For private investors who want to find early-stage startups, we offer the OLED crowdfunding arena, a new and innovative service!
We'll be happy to hear your thoughts on OLED investing - join the discussion at our investment forum!
The latest OLED stock news:
DSCC estimates that Apple paid around $950 million to Samsung Display in the last quarter - due to lower smartphone OLED orders. Apple is committed to buy a certain amount of displays, and this payment is a fine due to lower orders.
A year ago in July 2019, Apple paid $684 million - again as compensation for lower-than-agreen-on iPhone OLED panel orders.
The award was granted under the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program for OLED Supply Chain Assurance. These funds will be used for procurement and installation of capital equipment in eMagin’s NY-based manufacturing facility.
LG Chem announced that it has sold most of its LCD polarizer business to China’s Ningbo Shanshan, in a $1.1 billion deal. LG Chem will retain its automotive LCD polarizer business, and aims to focus on "strengthening its competitiveness in tech materials, especially OLED and nurture its OLED polarizer business".
In 2018 DSCC estimated that the OLED circular polarizer market will grow from $428 million in 2017 to $1.27 billion in 2022. The market is still dominated by mobile displays. In 2018 the OLED circular polarizer market was led by Sumitomo Chemical and Nitto Denko, with LG Chem increasing its market share in OLED TVs polarizers.
In 2019, Doosan Corp spun-off its OLED materials unit, which is now called Doosan Solus (and is listed on the Korean stock market). Last month it was reported that Doosan Corp aims to sell its 51% stake as it needs to raise funds to bail out its troubled Doosan Heavy I&C company.
According to a new report from Korea, Doosan Corp demands 1 trillion Won for its Doosan Solus stake (around $810 million USD), but at this price it did not manage to find any buyers.
Universal Display reported its Q1 2020 financial results. While the company and its market are effected by the Corona Virus, UDC had an excellent quarter with revenues of $112.3 million (material sales of $66.6 million, up from $60.8 million in Q4 2019 and $54.5 million in Q1 2019) and a net income of $38.2 million.
At the end of the quarter, UDC had $640 million in cash and equivalents. Due to the pandemic, the company withdraws its 2020 annual guidance. UDC also says that some of its orders in the quarter was due to its customers stocking up inventory due to industry uncertainties.
OLED driver IC developer MagnaChip announced its financial results for Q1 2020. OLED DDIC revenue was $69.7 million, up 43.6% from last year and up 3.5% from last quarter. The company estimates that 8 new smartphones that adopt its OLED drivers were released in Q1 2020, and 9 just entered pilot production.
MagnaChip has a total of 16 OLED display drivers, almost double the number of drivers it had in its portfolio in Q1 2019. The company has started to develop OLED drivers for automotive products, which the company expects to to into production in the first half of 2021.
Kopin Corporation reported its financial results for Q1 2020 - with $7.9 million in revenues (up 42% from Q1 2019) and a 50% decrease in R&D expenses as the company implements its strategic realignment program.
Kopin also announced that during the quarter it received the first commercial order for its OLED backplane wafers. Interestingly Kopin says the order was for wafers and not complete displays. Kopin says that its current internal R&D investments are primarily focused on OLED displays.
Korea-based OLED equipment maker Sunic System announced it has received a $22.6 million order for OLED deposition equipment from BOE. The tools will be used to deposit OLED microdisplays.
BOE is currently producing OLED microdisplays at its $170 million fab in Yunnan - the world's largest OLED microdisplay fab constructed in collaboration with OLiGHTEK. In December 2018 BOE announced its second, and larger, OLED microdisplay fab in Yunnan, which will cost a total of $486 million. It is likely that this new order is aimed for BOE's 2nd fab. Sunic says it will deliver the systems by November 2020.
France-based effusion cells and sources producer Riber reported its financial results for Q1 2020. Total revenues in the first quarter amounted to €5.3m, down 19% from last year.
Riber says that its OLED evaporator business did not generate any significant revenues "due to the lack of investment in the OLED screen industry". This is in line with Riber's previous quarters. In July 2019, Riber said it sees a freeze on investments in OLED screen production equipment following the major investments made in previous years, and said its order book for OLED evaporation systems is empty.
Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q1 2020. It was a good quarter for Samsung, driven by high demand for its chips - and also its mobile OLED displays. Samsung sales int he first quarter reached $45 billion while its operating profit rose 3.4% from last year to $5.2 billion.
Samsung warns though that its Q2 2020 results will be lower than previously estimated due to the CoronaVirus outbreak. Samsung did not detail its expectations for its display unit in Q2.