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 enable flexible, foldable and rollable displays (see more here - What is OLED?).
The OLED market is already a multi-billion dollar market, led by Samsung, LG Display, BOE and others. It is estimated that OLED displays generated around $40 billion in revenues in 2021 and the market is expected to continue growing in the future.
For public investors interested in the OLED market, there are several good options, includingL
- 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 at the NYSE 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 (held by Samsung Electronics), LG display, Visionox, BOE Display and more.
- OLED equipment makers: There are several public equipment companies (for example Aixtron, or Coherent) that offer OLED production systems. 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:
LG Display reported its Q4 2021 financial results. Revenues increased 18% compared to Q4 2020, and reached $7.3 billion, while net income fell to $150 million down from $500 million a year ago. LGD says that the drop in profit is due to one-off costs related to employee bonuses, and lower LCD panel prices.
For the whole of 2021, LG Display recorded all-time high revenues of $25 billion, with a 23% increase over 2020.
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin posted its preliminary financial results for Q4 2021. eMagin sees increased product revenues in the range of $6.8 to $7 million (up 10% to 13% from Q4 2020). Contract revenues were about $0.2 million (down from $1.5 million in Q4 2020).
eMagin says that its core military business is enjoying a ramp up in volume, and the company's backlog at the end of the year increased 26% from the end of 2020. The lower contract revenues were primarily due to timing of development work for a tier-one consumer customer, but eMagin continues to work on this project and anticipates ongoing contract revenue with this customer.
OLED driver IC developer MagnaChip announced that it is expanding its OLED IC product lineup as it is developing a next-generation OLED DDIC for automotive displays.
Magnachip is developing an OLED DDIC for automotive based on the 40nm process technology, targeting center stack displays and instrument cluster displays. The company plans to supply the new product to premium European car manufacturers in the first half of 2023. The new driver will support a wide range of resolutions (including FHD) and will work with both rigid and flexible OLED displays.
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q3 2021. Revenues were $5.8 million in the quarter, down from $7.3 million in Q3 2021. Operating loss in the quarter was $3.3 million (down from $1.9 million in Q2 2021).
eMagin says that during the quarter it continued to grow its ENVG-B program revenues and also its medical customer revenues, but in total its revenues decreased due to timing issues of certain military orders, and also $1.3 million in shipments were delayed to Q4 due to to production issues and unexpected manufacturing tool downtime.
Revenues were a record $143.6 million, up from $117.1 million in Q3 2020 and net profit was $46.1 million (up from $40.5 million from Q3 2020). The company has about $789 million in cash and equivalents, the it reiterates its full-year 2021 revenue guidance to be between $530 million and $560 million.
Regarding its blue PHOLED R&D effort, UDC says it is making "excellent progress", and the company believes that a commercial blue material is a question of when and not if.
Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q3 2021, with record quarterly sales ($63 billion USD) and an increase of 31% in net profits (to $10.5 billion).
The strong performance was mostly thanks to Samsung's chip business and the weak Korean won. Samsung's display business also enjoyed a good quarter, with strong sales of small and medium-sized OLED panels. Samsung's large-area LCD business, though, posted losses as prices of LCD panels declined.
Earlier this year, OLED driver IC developer MagnaChip announced that it is being acquired by China-based Wise Road Capital, for $1.4 billion. We reported that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is looking into blocking this deal, and now the CFIUS made its final decision.
The CFIUS stated that "It has confirmed the national security risks that may arise in the United States from the acquisition of MagnaChip by the Chinese private equity fund". This pretty much cancels the potential acquisition.
LG Display says it will expand the capacity of its OLED assembly plant in Vietnam in a $1.4 billion investment.
The OLED plant, located in Hai Phong City, is used to assemble OLED panels - for mobile devices, TVs and automotive displays. The plant's capacity will grow from around 10 million monthly units to 13-14 million.
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin has been developing direct-emission OLED microdisplay (also called directly-patterned, or dPd) for many years, and is considered to be the leading company - the closest one to commercialize such a display. A dPd will enable much higher efficiency/brightness compared to current designs based on color filters.
In the past eMagin reported of several leading companies that have licensed the technology and/or are working with the company towards the design of custom dPd OLED displays for future AR/VR products. In 2017 for example eMagin reported of a Tier-1 CE company that licensed its dPd tech, and in 2020 the company said it started a new consumer-related AR development project for a next-generation display for a Tier-1 customer.
A few weeks ago LG Display noted that it is reviewing a plan to expand the capacity of its mobile OLED production plants, and today LGD announced its formal plan to invest 3.3 trillion Won (around $2.8 billion) to expand pOLED capacity.
LGD will expand its 6-Gen AMOLED production capacity, and this expansion project will finish by March 2024. LGD did not provide any more details about this plan. LGD is enjoying high demand for its mobile AMOLED displays, with Apple one of its major customers.