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:
BOE and Qualcomm announced plans to establish a strategic collaboration to develop innovative display products featuring Qualcomm's 3D Sonic ultrasonic fingerprint sensors. BOE have already started to embed Qualcomm's sensor in its flexible OLED displays.
BOE also says that this collaboration will result in a streamlined supply chain and reduces the bill of materials (BoM) and R&D expenses expenses. BOE says that it will start shipping the integrated panels and sensors in H2 2020.
In 2019, Doosan Corp spun-off its OLED materials unit, which is now called Doosan Solus (and is listed on the Korean stock market). Doosan Solus produces host materials for OLED displays (in addition to battery foil materials and bio components used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals).
According to reports from Korea, Doosan Corp is looking to raise funds to bail out its troubled Doosan Heavy I&C company, and is looking to sell its 51% stake in Doosan Solus. The reports suggest that Doosan Corp is looking to get 600 billion Won (almost $500 million USD) for its stake, and a possible buyer is private equity fund SkyLake Investment.
The company's booking in Q4 2019 were a record for eMagin, exceeding $15 million. The company received 80 orders and it has started a new consumer-related AR development project for a next-generation display for a Tier-1 customer.
SDC expects demand for foldable OLEDs to soar, will increase production capacity to a million panels per month
Korean ETNews reports that Samsung is expecting higher demand for foldable OLED displays, and the company decided to increase its monthly production capacity from 260,000 units to around 600,000 by the end of May 2020, and over a million displays by the end of the year.
ETNews also reports that Samsung Electronics is planning to launch its third foldable smartphone later in 2020, and Chinese phone makers are also requesting foldable displays from SDC.
Universal Display reported its Q4 2019 financial results - revenues were $102 million, an increase of 45% compared to Q4 2018. Net income in the fourth quarter was $26.4 million.
Looking at 2019, UDC had a record year - with revenues of $405 million and a net income of $138 million. 2019 was a year of significant capacity additions, and 2020 will see less significant growth due to "capacity digestion". Looking into 2020, UDC sees revenues in the range of $430 to $70 million. UDC estimates that the coronavirus outbreak in China could lower its 2020 revenues by $40 - 50 million.
Photonics-based solutions provider Coherent reported its financial results for Q4 2019 - with revenues of $320.8 million, and a net profit of $5.8 million. The company says that these are encouraging results, and full-year outlook is improving.
Coherent's display orders were up significantly for LineBeam systems and service. These systems orders are all destined to China, and the increase in service orders "reflects higher demand for OLED-equipped smartphones in Q4 2019". Orders for OLED cutting using short pulse and CO2 lasers were also up.
LG Display reports better-than-expected Q4 2019 results, driven by a strong demand to OLED TVs and smartphone OLEDs
LG Display posted its financial results for Q4 2019, with a lower-than-expected loss of $361.6 million and revenues of $5.4 billion - a 10% increase over last quarter, driven by a rise in sales of OLED TVs and smartphone OLEDs.
LGD has given an optimistic forecast for 2020 as it sees higher demand for its OLED TV and mobile P-OLED panels. LGD expects its OLED TV panel revenue to "rise steeply" as its Guangzhou OLED TV fab increases its production - LGD now says it expects the fab to start mass production in March 2020.
OLED driver IC developer MagnaChip says that it expects revenues in Q4 2019 to reach $198-200 million, up from its earlier estimate of $181-191 million.
MagnaChip says that its OLED revenue was significantly better than had been expected.
In March 2017 OLED maker BOE Technology and OLED microdisplay maker OLiGHTEK announced a new $170 million joint-venture to produce OLED microdisplays for the consumer VR and AR markets
Once complete, BOE's fab will have the largest capacity in the industry - but this is not enough for BOE. Yesterday it was reported in Chinese media that BOE plans to build a second, larger OLED microdisplay fab in Yunnan. BOE will invest $257 million while a state-owned development group will invest $28 million. BOE will also raise $200 million from external sources. Total investment in the new fab will total $486 million.
In October 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. SDC was supposed to start the plan in 2019, but according to a report from China the Company is delaying its initial investment. Originally mass production was supposed to begin in Q1 2021, but this may happen later if the investment is delayed.
It seems as if equipment makers expected to receive orders for production equipment, but that did not happen. The report says that Samsung decided to make personnel changes and transfer in January 2020 and only after these changes will the company finalize its investment plan in the new OLED TV fab.