We've been waiting for commercial success stories from Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL ) since, dude, forever. They're finally trickling in. The OLED (organic light-emitting diode) gravy train is leaving the station before our very eyes.
The company just reported a fourth-quarter loss of $0.09 per share, a slimmer slice of red than the $0.14 negative EPS seen a year earlier. Revenue came in 14% higher at $2.9 million. However, direct comparisons between the two periods aren't entirely fair.
Last year, the company's biggest commercial contract was with display panel manufacturer AU Optronics (NYSE: AUO ) , with upfront payments when Universal delivered its OLED materials. Now, it's Samsung SDI under a very different deal, where the revenue gets recognized only when Samsung sells products to end-users. This delays a large but unspecified chunk of sales by a couple of quarters, as the revenue-generating product makes its way through manufacturing, sales, and retail distribution channels. In other words, don't take the overnight haircut too seriously. Small accounting changes can have a large impact on micro caps like Universal and its fellow Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks.
This earnings report features a list of the company's major customers and partnerships. Much of it could be constructed from scattered SEC filings and press releases, Frankenstein-style. Now we have a handy roll call, with some impressive names to boot. Sony (NYSE: SNE ) ? Present. Fellow consumer brand LG Philips LCD (NYSE: LPL ) ? Right over here. Basic-hardware specialist DuPont (NYSE: DD ) ? Been there since 2005.
The big-name brands are on board, and the technology is ready for prime time. As production lines scale up and manufacturing costs scale down, you should expect OLED screens to become a regular sight on Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) shelves in the next few quarters. Sony has already shipped ultra-thin OLED TV sets, and there are Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) phones on the market today, sporting spiffy OLED screens.
OLEDs are coming your way, and you might as well profit from the revolution. Universal will be huge when sales and bookings catch up to the technology's potential.