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:
LG Display is currently producing flexible AMOLED displays for Apple's smartwatches in its E2 4.5-Gen line in Paju. The company hasn't been able to improve its financials as LCD prices are under pressure, and following a recent managerial shuffle, it is now reported that LGD is considering shutting down its E2 line.
The E2 production capacity is around 20,000 substrates per month, but it is less economical than LG's larger OLED lines, the E5 and E6 lines which are 6-Gen lines. LG will reportedly move production from its E2 line to its larger lines.
Japan Display recently secured a 80 billion Yen (around $740 million) bailout plan from the China-based Harvest Group, Hong Kong-based activist investor Oasis Management and an unnamed JDI customer - which is likely to be Apple.
In August 2017, Japan Display announced a last-resort strategic focus on OLED displays as the Japanese display maker failed to shift to OLED displays in time. JDI now announced that it is extending the shut-down of its Ishikawa LCD fab due to slow demand for LCD displays from Apple. JDI is talks with the Harvest Group to convert the fab to OLED production.
LG announced that it is starting to ship its 88" 8K flagship OLED Z9 TV in the US, with a price of $29,999. The OLED88Z9 is based on LG's 2nd-gen Alpha 9 intelligent processor the enables LG's ThinQ AI to offer new display algorithms and Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant.
The Signature OLED Z9 features HDMI 2.1 which enables high frame rate (HFR) support, enhanced audio return channel (eARC), variable refresh rate (VRR) and automatic low latency mode (ALLM). LG's flagship OLED also feature Dolby Atmos for immersive entertainment.
In August 2019 Universal Display announced that it has established a network of OLED materials partnerships to help commercialize its new host materials. LG Chem announced today that it joined UDC's network and the two companies will work together to co-develop OLED host materials.
Under the new agreement, UDC will supply LG Chem with its phosphorescent emitters, while LG Chem will develop and host materials. The two companies will jointly develop the host/emitter system with an aim to develop a wider color gamut OLED device.
BOE says that it shipped 9.1 million AMOLED displays in the first half of 2019 - better than expected as Huawei increased its OLED penetration to 24% in Q2 2019 (up from 9% in Q2 2018). BOE though warns of weak demand for flexible OLEDs and the company lowered its 2019 fully-year guidance to 30 million units (down from 30-50 million).
BOE further announced that it will delay the phase 3 of its Chengdu B7 6-Gen OLED fab due to the weak flexible OLED demand. CLSA estimates that BOE ships more than 60% of Huawei's flexible OLED displays. Over 90% of BOE's OLED revenue is attributed to Huawei, but BOE aims to add one or two new customers starting in Q4 2019.
China-based Tianma announced that it plans to construct a 6-Gen flexible AMOLED production line in Xiamen. The company will setup a joint-venture with the local government that will help finance the new fab, which will cost an estimated 48 billion Yuan ($6.8 billion USD).
Tianma estimates that it will take 30 months to construct the fab, which means that initial production is estimated to start in February 2022. The new fab, when in full capacity, will product 48,000 6-Gen substrates each month.
Earlier this month Universal Display announced that it has established a network of OLED materials partnerships to help commercialize its new host materials. Today UDC announced the first such partners, China-based Eternal Material Technology Company (EMT).
UDC announced that the two companies are working together to commercialize OLED host materials. EMT will be a volume manufacturer and vendor of these host materials to OLED panel markers in China.
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q2 2019. Revenues were $5.4 million, down from $7.1 million a year ago and eMagin had an operating loss of $2.9 million (down from $3.6 million in Q2 2018). At the end of the quarter eMagin had $3.7 million in cash and equivalents.
eMagin says that the second quarter of 2019 was a challenging one for the company, as deliveries were impacted by continuing production issues and revenue and profitability fell short of expectations. The company is taking several actions to address the shortfall and are seeing early signs of progress. The company's backlog remains strong, at $11.6 million (an increase of approximately $1 million over the backlog of $10.6 million at December 31, 2018).
Korea-based Doosan Corp is planning to spin-off its OLED materials unit. The company's shareholders approved the plan. The new company will be called Doosan Solus, and will list on the Korean stock market on October 1st.
Doosan Solus will take over Doosan's OLED materials unit, which produce host materials for OLED displays. The company will also produce battery foil materials and bio components used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
In February 2019 LG Display started producing its 55" FHD transparent commercial OLED displays, and now the company says it plans to double its transparent OLED production in Q4 2019 - and continue to ramp up production years to come. LGD sees possible applications in shop windows, building façades and exhibition spaces.