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Why LG Display Co. Stock Fell 11% Today

By Anders Bylund – Jul 20, 2017 at 4:11PM

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A report says that the Korean screen maker is losing a large smartphone contract to crosstown rival Samsung. That's plausible, but the market reaction seems overdone.

What happened

Shares of LG Display (LPL 2.74%) fell as much as 10.9% on Thursday morning, but recovered to a smaller 8.1% drop as of 3:30 p.m. EDT.

So what

A report in Taiwan-based semiconductor paper Digitimes said that LG Display is losing a contract to supply OLED panels for Xiaomi Technology's next round of flagship smartphones. Instead, that contract for 3.2 million screens is moving to crosstown rival Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF). The lost contract was reportedly due to supply-side issues, as the screens were slated for production in a new manufacturing plant that is having trouble ramping up its OLED production.

A large pile of smartphones, all displaying colorful screens.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

All of this makes perfect sense, and Digitimes tends to be a respectable source for insider reports of this type. LG Display may also have shifted some of its small-screen OLED resources over to support a thriving pipeline of big-screen OLED TV panels.

CFO Sang-Dong Kim recently explained that his company is converting many of its old LCD manufacturing assets to OLED production, pouring 70% of the company's capital expenses into the OLED bucket. But most of these production upgrades are aimed at flexible OLED displays and large TV screens, and the Xiaomi contract didn't call for either one of these.

This probably wasn't exactly a strategic decision, but LG Display's leadership is unlikely to fret much over losing the Xiaomi deal. Shrug and move on to bigger and better things, while stock traders overreact.

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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