Three months ago, OLED technology researcher Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL ) jumped 17% overnight. The company missed Wall Street's second-quarter earnings targets but crushed the revenue forecast, followed by raised guidance for the third quarter. The Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone gave the company plenty of reason for optimism -- the darn thing was outselling the iconic Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone at the time.
The champagne has lost its bubbly fizz over the last 13 weeks. Universal Display's shares have given back the entire 17% boost on the eve of the next quarterly report, and the stock trades within 30% of 52-week lows. Yearly highs spiked 73% above current prices, so that's a bit of a letdown.
Analysts have been slashing their earnings estimates. Three months ago, Universal was expected to deliver net income of $0.09 per share in the third quarter; today, the target sits at just $0.05 per share.
I wonder if the analysts behind these cuts have been keeping up with the news on Samsung's sales.
Universal Display's largest and most important customer keeps selling fantastic unit volumes of OLED-equipped phones and tablets. The Galaxy S3 hit 10 million units in 50 days, then 20 million after 100 days on the market, and 30 million at -- you guessed it -- roughly 150 days.
Android critics often say that no individual Android model comes close to the iPhone's unit volumes, but the Galaxy S3 comes very close. The S3's big sales last quarter were no fluke, but part of a sustainable long-term trend.
This company rides Samsung's coattails in much the same way that Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS ) and Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM ) depend on Apple's iPhones and iPads.
Qualcomm is outgrowing all of its radio-chip rivals and Cirrus just reported a 90% year-over-year jump in sales -- all on the back of Apple's flourishing gadget portfolio.
Based on the Apple template for partner parties and Samsung's recent success, I expect Universal to crush the Street's $19 million revenue target on Wednesday.