Shares of Universal Display (OLED -1.40%) gained 120% in 2019, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The technology developer and materials reseller behind organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens crushed Wall Street's expectations in every earnings report and presented a clear path to even greater gains in 2020 and beyond.
OLED screens are already popular in high-end smartphones and wearable computing devices, and the technology is gaining ground in big-screen TV sets and in-car displays. Universal Display's revenue growth took a breather in 2018 but bounced back with a vengeance in 2019, and the company's management believes that the OLED market has an enormous amount of growth ahead of it.
In November's third-quarter earnings call, CEO Steve Abramson noted that some of the biggest global brands in the TV hardware market are ramping up their OLED production plans at a rapid clip. For example, LG Display (LPL -2.10%) recently opened a new OLED factory in China that can produce 60,000 panels a month, or 720,000 per year. The new plant may look impressive today, but it's just a small part of a far greater expansion plan. By 2022, LG expects to crank out 10 million OLED displays a year.
"OLEDs are broadening the consumer market and ushering in an era of new concepts, new designs, and new applications," Abramson said. "As we fast-forward into the future, we believe that OLED will be the ubiquitous display technology, with conformable, foldable, and rollable products expected to be prevalent in everyday life."
Universal Display's financial results will follow suit, with dramatic stock returns to follow. You heard it here first, a long time ago, and we Universal Display shareholders have pocketed a return of 1,420% over the last decade.