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It used to be difficult to cover Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL ) . That's changing fast.
The OLED technology that Universal Display makes a living from has finally broken into the mainstream. A couple of years ago, I had to stretch for high-end Sony (NYSE: SNE ) television sets or obscure Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) handsets if I wanted to give you an example of where you could see OLED screens in action. Only serious gearheads would understand what I was talking about.
Now, that's all different. The Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Nexus One phone ships with a beautiful OLED screen, and so does the HTC Droid Incredible that's available today at a Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) Wireless store near you. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) built this power-sipping, high-definition display technology into its Zune HD player, and Samsung is using OLED all over the place. It's easy to find an example of what Universal Display does these days.
And that commercial success is showing in the company's business results. Total revenues in Universal Display's just-reported first quarter came in at $4.2 million, up from $2.8 million a year ago. Combined with tight control of operating costs and fewer costs to outsourcing partner PPG Industries (Nasdaq: PPG ) , the growing sales resulted in a net loss of $0.08 per share -- much smaller than the $0.15 loss per share seen a year ago.
So the commercialization of Universal Display's OLED technology is finally hitting its stride, and given the manufacturing build-out plans of major customers like Samsung and LG Display, I can see the red ink turning black in the near future.
After the small OLED screens for smartphones and media players, there will be larger screens for TV sets or laptops. And then, flexible displays and light fixtures. The good times have started rolling for Universal Display, and they're going to keep rolling for many years yet.
This five-star CAPS stock may be my favorite long-term holding of any kind. Do you see what I see? Spill the beans in the comments below, please.