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:
Japan Display (JDI) announced that it has finally secured the 80 billion Yen (around $740 million) bailout plan. The large investment will come from Chin-based Harvest Group, Hong Kong-based activist investor Oasis Management and an unnamed JDI customer - which is likely to be Apple.
Japan Display says that it plans to hold a shareholders meeting on August 29th to formalize the bailout plan.
China-based OLED producer Visionox has demonstrated several new OLED technologies at SID DisplayWeek 2019 last month, and the following great video shows the company's impressive booth and displays.
First up is a foldable OLED display that can be folded inwards and outwards. The panel's folding radius is 5 mm, and Visionox says that it can be folded over 200,000 times. The company did not disclose the exact size and resolution, though.
Samsung reports its financial results for Q2 2019, includes a one-time $684 million payment (could be from Apple)
Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q2 2019. The company's operating profit totaled ₩6.5 trillion (around $5.6 billion). Interestingly Samsung reported a one-off gain of $684 million, which could be Apple's compensation for lower-than-agreen-on iPhone OLED panel orders.
Samsung's smartphone sales have been lower than expected, which is one of the factors behind the earnings miss. CLSA analysts expect Samsung Display's to enjoy a 47% growth in OLED sales in the next quarter as demand from Apple, Samsung and Chinese smartphone makers is expected to increase in Q3.
Taiwan-based Luminescence Technology (Lumtec) is set to debut today on the Taipei stock exchange emerging stock board. The company says that it plans to expand its OLED lighting production capacity in Q4 2019 from 150,000 50x35 mm panels per month to around 600,000 units.
Lumtec says that it sees a large demand coming from the automotive market for OLED lighting panels, and it expects its utilization rates to reach 100% in the current quarter. This means that the company sees around 450,000 panels shipping in this quarter, which seems highly optimistic, especially as it says that it has currently shipping samples for five companies with volume orders expected in 2020 and the demand from automotive companies is not likely to expand very quickly as first adoption comes from luxury cars.
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.