Shares of Universal Display (OLED -0.45%) surged higher on Monday, rising as much as 10% in the early afternoon. The annual Consumer Electronics Show is happening in Las Vegas right now, shining a global spotlight on advanced technologies such as Universal Display's OLED solutions for enthusiasts and investors alike.
Over the weekend, several large consumer technology companies used the CES platform to launch brand-new OLED products. For example, Panasonic (PCRFY 2.01%) introduced two premium large-screen TV sets featuring 4K OLED screens, high-end video processing features, and support for advanced color and high-def detail signals. LG Display (LPL -0.60%) showed a massive 88-inch panel and a rollable 65-inch screen, both built around OLED displays. The rollable screen, which tucks away into a rectangular box similar to a soundbar when you want to declutter your living room, is just a prototype with no plans to hit the market anytime soon.
At the same time, market analyst firm IHM Markit reported that OLED television sales for the 2017 holiday season more than doubled over the previous year, rising 133% to 270,000 units produced last November.
All these reminders of the rising OLED trend lifted Universal Display shares to new all-time highs, posting a 241% return over the last 52 weeks. The stock is trading at 61 times forward earnings and 31 times trailing sales, but these lofty ratios are supported by solid business results. Top-line sales doubled year over year in the recently reported third quarter, while earnings flipped from a modest loss to $0.28 of positive earnings per share.
Surging sales of large-screen TV sets play an important part in this growth story, as Universal Display collects revenue on the total area of OLED products based on the company's research and patents. That's why a strong holiday season and some new big-screen products can move the needle for this company -- taking share prices along for the ride.