Article last updated on: May 04, 2017

OLED is a new exciting technology, enabling thin, efficient and bright displays and lighting. Many people consider OLEDs to be the next-generation display, television and lighting tech. The potential sales of OLEDs in the next few years is billion of dollars. In fact, the OLED display market today is estimated at 600M$, and is forecasted to grow to 5.5B$ by 2015. OLED lighting will take off (hopefully) by 2011, and reach 6B$ in revenue in 2018.

OLED companies

There are many companies working on OLEDs, from big corporations like Sony, Samsung, LG, Kodak and GE, to small research and IP companies. 

There are several types of companies involved in this market:

  • Research / IP companies: researching OLEDs, trying to get hold of important patents relating to OLED manufacture, OLED materials and releated inventions. 
  • Chemical companies: mostly involved in OLED material production and IP
  • OLED manufacturers: the actual panel makers
  • OLED gadget companies or resellers: companies that embed OLEDs in their products (cell phones, TVs, etc.) or simply resell those panels.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are competing techs within the OLED world - Polymer based OLEDs vs Small Molecules, for examples. So even if OLED are booming, it might be that not all OLED companies will benefit...

Invest in OLEDs

Here are some suggestions for publicly traded OLED companies:

Small companies, who focus on OLEDs are more risky, but the rewards here may be larger.

  • Universal Display Corporation: UDC is an OLED research company, and one of the field's pioneers. UDC is involved in OLED IP, and holds many patent, related to the commercialization of OLEDs, and also related to flexible,t ransparent, stacked and phosphorescent (PHOLED) displays and lighting panels.

    UDC licenses its OLED production IP, and also sells chemical materials to be used in the production process. UDC lists Samsung SDI, CMEL, Konica Minolta and Kyocera as its licensees. UDC is working with many other companies, including LG, Sony, DuPont and Novaled. UDC claims that "all AMOLEDs on the market use our technology".

    Universal Display lists in the NASDAQ (ticker PANL).

  • eMagin: eMagin is engaged in virtual imaging products that utilize OLEDs, OLED-on-silicon micro displays and information technology solutions. Focused on Micro displays, eMagin is selling its micro displays to companies that incorporate them into products such as cameras, army helmets or headsets, etc. eMagin trades in the AMEX Stock Exchange (Ticker is EMAN.OB, OTC).

Other companies: (note that some of these companies are very large, and the OLED business is only a small part and is not expected to make a major impact on the stock price)

  • AixtronAG: a provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry. The Company's technology solutions are used by a diverse range of customers world wide to build advanced components for electronic and opto-electronic applications based on compound, silicon, or organic semiconductor materials. Aixtron has introduced Organic Vapor Phase Deposition (OVPD) Equipment, which was exclusively licensed to Aixtron by UDC.

    Aixtron trades in the NASDAQ (ticker AIXG) and in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
  • AU Optronics: AUO was formed in 2001, by the merger of Acer Display and Unipac Optoelectronics. Later in 2006 AUO merged with Quanta Display. AUO is the world's number 3 manufacture of TFT-LCDs, and has renewed its AMOLED program in 2009 (they are currently not selling any OLEDs). AUO trades in Taiwan's stock exchange (2409) and in the NYSE (ticker AUO).
  • Densitron Display Solutions: a manufacturer and supplier of standard and customized display modules utilizing OLED, TFT, CSTN, Monochrome and Touch Screen technology. Densitron lists on UK's AIM stock exchange.
  • Dupont: DuPont is developing innovative and sustainable solutions that improve display performance, reduce production costs and enable next-generation technologies across a broad range of applications, including LCDs, OLEDs, plasma display panels (PDPs) and field emission displays (FEDs). Dupont trades on the NYSE (ticker DD).
  • Eastman Kodak: Eastman Kodak Company is engaged primarily in developing, manufacturing and marketing traditional and digital imaging products, services and solutions. OLEDs were originally found and patented by Kodak, which are working on OLEDs for displays and lighting. Kodak aims to license its technology with partners, and will not manufacture OLED panels directly. Kodak trades in the NASDAQ (ticker EK).
  • General Electric: GE is a diversified industrial corporation, and operations include engines, military, wind turbines, locomotives, lighting and financial services. GE are working towards OLED Lighting. GE trades in the NYSQ (ticker GE).
  • Idemitsu Kosan: is a Japanese company, founded in 1911, to engage in oil distribution, and over the years they have gained experience in fuel products and basic chemicals, plastics, electronic materials and OLED materials. Idemitsu Kosan are working with Sony, LG Display and UDC. IK trades in the Tokyo stock exchange, ticker is 5019.
  • Konica Minolta: Konica Minolta is a japanese company, involved in copiers, printers, medical equipment, optical devices and a film used to enhance picture quality in liquid crystal displays. KM is researching OLED for lighting, announced a partnership with GE and aims to have product on the market before 2010. KM has licenced OLED IP from UDC. KM trades in Tokyo's stock exchange (ticker 4902).
  • LG Display: LG Display is a large maker of displays for TVs, computer screens and mobile devices. LG Display is making AMOLED displays, and are also working toward flexible OLEDs. LG display trades in the Korean Exchange, ticker 034220. It also trades as an ADR in the NYSE (ticker LPL). 
  • OSRAM Opto Semiconductors: a wholly owned subsidiary of OSRAM - who employs more than 35,000 people throughout the world. OSRAM is a leading supplier and manufacturer of solid-state lighting solutions with a strategic focus on OLED technology.
  • Philips: one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest. It is involved in many areas, and one of the world's leaders in lighting. Philips is working on OLED lighting, and are already shipping samples. Philips trades in both the Euronext (ticker PHIA) and the NYSE (ticker PHG).
  • Seiko Epson: Seiko Epson is a global corporation based in Japan that is at the forefront of technological revolutions in imaging, robotics, precision machinery and electronics. Seiko Epson are working towards inkjet printable OLEDs. Seiko Epson lists on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Ticker is JP:6724).
  • Samsung Mobile Displays: SMD is a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung. This company was formed from Samgung SDI's and Electronics' OLED units in 2008. Samsung MD is mass-producing color OLED displays, and is involved in both AMOLED and PMOLED, primarily for the mobile phone display market. It is the largest AMOLED panel maker, and are also working on larger panels, OLED lighting, flexible and transparent OLEDs. Samsung lists on the Korean Stock Exchange (Ticker is SSNGY), and SMD lists as Samsung SDI (006400.KS).
  • Sony: Sony is one of the leading consumer electronics companies in the world. Sony has an OLED research program, mostly geared towards large displays (OLED TVs). Sony trades as an ADR in the NYSE (ticker SNE).
  • Sumitomo Chemicals: has been established in 1913, and since then has been researching and producing industrial chemicals and materials. Sumitomo has been working with CDT on PLED materials, and has acquired the company in July 2007. Sumitomo plans to produce OLED TVs, and have teamed up with Panasonic to make 40" and larger sets by 2010. Sumitomo trades in the Tokyo stock exchange (ticker 4005).

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