This would be a great time to jump aboard the OLED bandwagon. Wait too long and you might miss the launch of a real rocket stock.
Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL ) is a leading purveyor of organic LED (OLED) display and lighting technology. The company reported fourth-quarter earnings last night; it lost $3.8 million or $0.10 per share on $4.9 million of revenue. Compared to the year-ago quarter, that's a 15% smaller net loss and 35% higher sales performance. And the OLED train has just started a-rollin'.
OLED screens are a selling point for mobile gadgets like the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Nexus One smartphone and the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Zune HD. Both of these products feature Universal Display's particular brand of OLED screens, so those product launches explain what Universal's sales growth is all about. Keep in mind that the OLED industry as a whole is still young and small -- the top screen-builder is Samsung SMD, which cranks out about 2 million OLED screens a month now but is expected to do something like 8 million monthly units by the end of 2010.
Universal Display partners Samsung, AU Optronics (NYSE: AUO ) , and LG Display (NYSE: LPL ) are all busy building out their OLED manufacturing plants and hope to move from small-screen applications like cell phones and media players to larger screens including television sets in the near future. Unit volumes will start out low, and prices for the brave early adopters will be sky-high, but as the manufacturing infrastructure matures over the next few years, OLED screens could become the gold standard for screens of every size.
Samsung and friends still wouldn't be able to supply enough OLED screens for a high-volume product like the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone this year, but check again in 2012 and there’s a good chance the iPhone 4G 2.0 will feature a Samsung-made OLED screen. By then, Universal Display should be solidly profitable, and it'll be too late to catch Mr. Market off guard.
So the time to invest is now, in my opinion. You could wait for another dip like the forays into $5 territory seen in 2009 -- but that day may never come again. You don't wait for a Rule Breaker like Universal Display to become a stagnant Rule Maker before buying in, because you'd miss all the fun and profit. Feel free to discuss your OLED investing strategy in the comments below.