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Why Universal Display Corporation Shares Skyrocketed Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED  ) jumped by as much as 16% Friday morning after the OLED technologist's first-quarter results crushed expectations.

So what: Quarterly revenue jumped 152% year over year to $37.8 million. This helped Universal Display swing from a $0.10 per share loss in the same year-ago period to net income of $0.09 per diluted share. Analysts, on average, were only expecting net income of $0.03 per share on sales of $31.7 million.

Better yet, Universal Display also told investors to expect 2014 revenue to reach the high end of its existing $190 million to $205 million guidance range. Analysts went into the report modeling 2014 revenue of roughly $201 million.

Now what: That bodes particularly well for investors, who were fearing the worst regarding perceived negative developments in recent weeks. Specifically, shares fell hard last week when a Korea Herald report seemed to indicate Samsung's Cheil industries might be a threat to Universal Display's green host material business. But green host sales actually grew to $12.4 million in Q1 -- a 33% increase from last quarter, and quadruple the amount UDC sold in the same year-ago period.

Still, no less than three analysts prodded Universal Display management for clarity on green host sales going forward during the subsequent conference call. And while they couldn't comment specifically on Cheil Industries, CFO Sid Rosenblatt insisted, "We continue to expect to sell our green host materials. It may be in some products, and it may not be in some others, but we still expect our host business to be strong this year."

Finally, regarding concerns over OLED TV production, Universal Display reminded investors that OLED television is still in its early stages -- with most manufacturing currently being done on pilot lines -- and is still expected to grow significantly in the coming quarters.

In the end, Universal Display investors are breathing an overdue sigh of relief today, and it remains one of my favorite long-term tech stocks.

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Steve Symington

Technology and consumer goods specialist for the Fool. Steve looks for responsible businesses which positively shape our lives. Then, he invests accordingly. Enjoy his work? Connect with him on Twitter & Facebook so you don't miss a thing.

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