Why Universal Display Corporation Stock Popped Friday

The OLED technologist is up big after an analyst update. Here's what investors need to know.

Steve Symington
Steve Symington
Oct 9, 2015 at 2:20PM
Technology and Telecom
What: Shares of Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:OLED) were up 10.5% as of 2:20 p.m. Friday, following an encouraging analyst update.

So what: Specifically, Cowen analyst Robert Stone today reiterated his "outperform" rating and $60-per-share price target on Universal Display stock -- a massive 65% premium to yesterday's closing price. The update came on the heels of a note issued by Stone on Wednesday, in which he suggested strength demonstrated in Samsung's latest earnings report "appears to have come from AMOLED displays and LSI Logic."

"When we visited Seoul in September," Stone elaborated, "Samsung noted rising shipments to other OEMs along with better Y/Y compares for Galaxy models."

Now what: Incidentally, this echos statements made by Universal Display management following their own quarterly report in October. At the time, they blamed a one-time writedown of existing OLED host materials -- which Samsung isn't required to purchase from UDC per the two companies' patent and material supply agreement -- on stronger-than-expected demand for Samsung's latest OLED devices. This hurt demand for older Samsung devices that used Universal Display's host material in their OLED displays.

As I reiterated earlier this week, however, while this particular decline in host material demand was faster than Universal Display Corporation had hoped, it was largely anticipated to happen over the long term after Samsung acquired its own host materials producer in an attempt to lower costs last year. The good news is that Samsung's latest devices do use Universal Display's phosphorescent emitter materials, which are a key focus of its thousands of OLED-centric patents and a primary growth driver going forward.

In the end, let it suffice to say I agree with Stone's assertions, and am not the least bit surprised to see Universal Display shares rallying today.