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Why Universal Display Corporation Stock Dropped Today

By Steve Symington – Jan 15, 2016 at 4:38PM

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The OLED specialist fell along with the broader market. Here's what investors need to know.

What: Shares of Universal Display Corporation (OLED -0.93%) plunged as much as 11.4% early Friday before closing down 9.6% as the broader market pulled back, even despite a positive patent-related announcement by the OLED specialist.

So what: When all was said and done, Universal Display's movement came not from company-specific news, but largely followed the NASDAQ Composite Index today, which dropped as much as 4.2% by Friday afternoon, then closed down around 2.7%. For perspective, keep in mind that Universal Display stock is still up 55% over the past year on the heels of its better-than-expected quarterly report in November, so it's relatively unsurprising to see this highflier get dragged down more than most.

But this drop might come as a surprise considering that yesterday evening, Universal Display announced it was granted its 2,000th patent, this time covering what it describes as a "new family of 'Phosphorescent Emitters.'"

Universal Display CEO Steven Abramson elaborated:

As a company, we are constantly driving invention at both the architectural and molecular levels. We believe these efforts are expanding and extending the lifetime of our core competencies well into the foreseeable future, while further strengthening our position as a key partner in the OLED ecosystem.

Now what: Of course, this patent isn't particularly exciting given Universal Display's already-massive trove of intellectual property. But for perspective, remember that shares of Universal Display also temporarily plunged a few weeks ago after a short-seller released a troubling report that argued the company was facing a patent cliff since early IP was set to expire in 2017.

I already argued that report was wildly off base, but perhaps this was Universal Display management's way of reminding investors of the relative strength and long-term nature of the company's patent portfolio.

As it stands, I think investors should be focusing first on Universal Display's upcoming quarterly report early next month, which should provide fresh perspective on its many growth opportunities going forward.

Steve Symington owns shares of Universal Display. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Universal Display. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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