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:
OLED driver maker MagnaChip has updated its Q2 2019 revenue guidance, saying that revenues from its OLED display driver business are expected to "substantially exceed" the company's previously estimation.
MagnaChip recently launched its latest 28 nm OLED Display Driver IC for smartphone displays, and the company also launched a new initiative to co-develop mobile OLED display technologies.
Last month Reuters detailed the upcoming $2.1 bailout deal for Japan Display, led by a group of investors from Taiwan and China, including TPK and the Harvest Group. TPK and the HG are supposed to invest 80 billion Yen, but a new report from Reuters says that the plan is not finalized yet.
In what could just be a negotiating tactic, Reuters reports that the company informed JDI that they have not made a decision yet and are now "re-examining the prospects for Japan Display’s business performance". In any case it seems that JDI's future is not secure yet.
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q1 2019. Revenues were $6.1 million (down from $6.1 million in Q1 2018) and net loss was $1.4 million (down from $2.1 million in Q1 2018). At the end of the quarter, eMagin had $3.5 million in cash and equivalents (before its latest financing round).
Regarding its consumer business, eMagin updates that it successfully processed the first 4k x 4k wafers for its Tier-1 consumer electronics partner and has confirmed its ability to develop a large-area silicon OLED microdisplay with no visible non-uniformity. It plans to finalize the first full-color prototypes in Q3 2019.
In January 2019 Austria-based Sensor developer AMS announced a new RGB light and proximity sensor IC, the TCS3701, that can be placed behind an OLED screen, and still accurately measure the intensity of ambient light.
In AMS' recent conference call, the company's CEO says that the new sensor has already become a "resounding market success". Several major smartphone platforms recently launched in Asia already adopt the new sensor and shipment volumes are expanding. AMS says that customer traction for behind OLED continues to be strong and the company expects adoption to broaden from this into next year.
Universal Display reported its financial results for Q1 2019, with revenues of $87.8 million, an operating profit of $34.3 million and a net income of $31.5 million. UDC sees solid momentum in the OLED industry and it is raising its 2019 revenue guidance - to be in the range of $345 million to $365 million. UDC ended the quarter with $527 million in cash and equivalents.
Regarding its blue emissive system development, UDC says that it continues to make "excellent progress" in uts ongoing development work. UDC still cannot predict when its blue OLED will be commercially available.
Digitimes reports that AU Optronics has setup a 3.5-Gen test ink-jet OLED printing line, and the company now intends to start building a 6-Gen production line. AUO will start constructing the line before the end of 2019.
AUO's Chairman confirmed that the latest advances in printing materials and equipment are starting to make OLED printing viable for commercial use. AUO has not yet decided the schedule for volume production.
LG Display reported disappointing financial results for Q1 2019 - with an operating loss of $113 million. LG Display warns that the whole of 2019 will fall short of expectations - due to high costs of its new OLED fabs, weak LCD panel prices and low adoption of its smartphone OLEDs.
LGD's smartphone OLED business still suffers from low yields and low fab utilization as the company finds it hard to secure design wins and compete with Samsung Display. Some reports even suggest that LGD is thinking about shutting down its flexible OLED smartphone business.
Samsung Display announced today that it has started to mass produce foldable OLED displays, shipping the first such displays to Samsung Electronics.
SDC's first foldable OLEDs are the inside-folding 7.3" 1536x2152 Infinity Flex AMOLED displays that will be used in the Samsung Galaxy Fold - which will start shipping later this month (for $2,000) in Korea and Europe.
OLED driver maker MagnaChip announced a new initiative to co-develop new technologies for mobile OLED displays. MagnaChip is calling out to partners to combine their technologies (such as touch, stylus and fingerprint sensors) with the company's AMOLED driver technology.
MagnaChip's goal is to create reference designs and IP that will enable smartphone and other device makers to include new technologies that are compatible with MagnaChip's display driver ICs. MagnaChip announced its first partner - ELAN Microelectronic. This collaboration will mostly focus on stylus input technologies.
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it agreed to sell 4 million shares to an institutional investor at a purchase price per share of $0.50 in a registered direct offering (eMagin stock price was $0.78 before the announcement).
eMagin also issued unregistered warrants to purchase up to 3 million shares of common stock at an exercise price of $0.78 per share to the investor.