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Universal Display Easily Beats Expectations, Raises Guidance (Again)

By Steve Symington – Aug 4, 2017 at 1:28PM

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The "OLED revolution" is in full swing. Here's what investors need to know.

Universal Display Corporation (OLED 2.01%) announced strong second-quarter 2017 results on Thursday after the market closed, highlighting the company's best-ever quarter in terms of revenue and earnings thanks to the continued proliferation of its flagship technology.

Let's take a closer look at how the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) specialist capped the first half, as well as what investors can expect going forward.

Three bottles of Universal Display's phosphorescent OLED materials


Universal Display's results: The raw numbers


Q2 2017

Q2 2016

Year-Over-Year Growth


$102.5 million

$64.4 million


Net income

$47.2 million

$21.8 million


Earnings per share




Data source: Universal Display Corporation.

What happened with Universal Display this quarter?

  • For perspective -- and though we don't usually pay close attention to Wall Street's demands -- consensus estimates predicted significantly lower earnings of $0.72 per share on revenue of $87 million.
  • Material sales increased 110% year over year to $46.8 million, driven by higher phosphorescent-emitter sales.
  • Royalty and license-fee revenue climbed 28% to $53.7 million, including a $45 million payment from Samsung Display per the two companies' long-term patent license and material supply agreement. Samsung will pay Universal Display a total of $90 million under that agreement (up from $75 million in 2016) this year, with the second payment due in the fourth quarter.
  • Revenue from contract research services was just over $2 million, driven by Universal Display's acquisition of contract research organization Adesis in mid-2016.
  • The company acquired a 47,500 square-foot research facility in New Castle, Delaware, with the aim of helping Adesis scale up its operations. Adesis was already leasing roughly 25,100 square feet of the building.
  • Universal Display ended the quarter with $365.6 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.
  • The company maintained its quarterly cash dividend at $0.03 per share.

What management had to say

Universal Display CFO Sidney Rosenblatt stated:

Our outstanding performance stems from over two decades of consistently investing in our pioneering technology, scaling our critical mass, and streamlining our operational flexibility from invention, to pilot, to mass production, in addition to a vibrant growing OLED market. Through these twenty-plus years, we have accumulated a robust wealth of knowledge and know-how, expanded our extensive IP matrix, and built-up our R&D [research and development] prowess to innovate, develop and deliver leading-edge materials and technologies to our growing customer base. With the OLED revolution gaining strength, our momentum is growing as well.

Looking forward

As such, Universal Display now expects full-year 2017 revenue in the range of $285 million to $300 million, an increase from last quarter's boosted guidance that called for a range of "at least" $260 million to $280 million. As per usual, this outlook came with the caveat that "the OLED industry is still at an early state where many variables can have a material impact on its growth."

There was nothing not to like about this stellar performance from Universal Display. Though shares are down slightly on the news as of this writing -- and keeping in mind that Universal Display stock is still up nearly 110% year to date -- I think investors should be more than happy with where it stands.

Steve Symington owns shares of Universal Display. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Universal Display. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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