When Austin Powers woke from a 30-year freeze in 1997, he was confused by CD players and microwave ovens. I wonder how he'd react to a modern smartphone.
That might be a good subject for a YouTube parody (a medium which also would bewilder our British hero) but we modern investors have a different problem: How should we invest in the smartphone and tablet boom?
We'll get some new clues to that question tonight when Universal Display
Analysts expect Universal to turn a $0.04 net profit per share on sales of roughly $16.4 million. That would be up from a $0.08 loss per share on $9.6 million in revenue a year ago -- a drastic improvement. But the consensus earnings target has moved downward recently: The estimate was $0.05 per share last week and $0.11 three months ago.
Notably, Piper Jaffray reduced its earnings target to $0.02 per share with a sell rating on the stock, noting that Apple's
But then Universal has had a history of shocking the Street, ever since the company turned the corner into profitability two quarters ago. The Street seems to have trouble parsing the new license and materials contract with chief customer Samsung. The straight-up license fee doesn't scale with unit volumes, which scares some investors. Universal gets out of that potential trap by charging Samsung by the pound for OLED materials, manufactured by chemicals giant PPG Industries
So the stage is set for another surprise to the upside. Samsung has emerged as a big-volume smartphone shipper, actually beating Apple in global smartphone sales nowadays. Sammy loves to slap OLED screens into its high-end handsets. Both LG Display
You know what else would mystify Austin Powers? This emerging technology our analysts think could end the "Made in China" era for good. Find out what this breakthrough is, and how you can invest in the trend, by taking a look at our special report, yours free for a limited time.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Universal Display but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. He is taller than Austin Powers. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Universal Display and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Universal Display and Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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