Longtime Fools know all about Universal Display
And then this happened:
2010 wasn't half bad -- shares gained 129% as revenues nearly doubled. This was the year that OLED screens hit the mainstream in a big way, mainly on Samsung smartphones running Google's Android operating system. Samsung's need for high OLED volumes was bad news for others hoping to capitalize on the technology -- phones like the HTC Droid Incredible saw interminable shipping delays and then had to downshift to a top-of-the-line LCD screen instead.
But if 2010 was the year of OLEDs in the mainstream, 2011 is where Universal Display started making real money. The revenue line in the chart above does a fair impersonation of your average hockey stick. That's a direct result of the new licensing and materials deal that Samsung signed in August.
The only way share prices could continue to lag behind that growth curve would be if the fantastically higher sales came with depressed margins -- but that's exactly the opposite of what's happening. Rolling gross margins are exploding as economies of scale start to unfold, the company has this nice new habit of turning a profit, and operating cash flows are positive, too.
Smartphones and tablets are fueling some of the most exciting growth stories in this market. Universal Display is one surefire way to play that trend, with a side of big-screen and general lighting opportunity to boot. Read up on three other smartphone plays in a free report.