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Why Universal Display Corporation Stock Plunged Today

By Steve Symington – Feb 26, 2016 at 11:56AM

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The OLED specialist fell after posting a disappointing quarter. Here's what investors need to know.

Image source: Universal Display Corporation

What: Shares of Universal Display Corporation (OLED 1.99%) were down 13.3% as of 11:00 a.m. EST Friday after the OLED technologist announced weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter 2015 results.

So what: Quarterly revenue rose 11% year over year to $62.3 million, and translated to 38.2% growth in net income to $18.1 million, or $0.39 per share. Even so, analysts' consensus estimates predicted quarterly revenue and earnings of $71.5 million and $0.51 per share, respectively.

To be sure, for all of 2015 Universal Display's revenue came in roughly flat over 2014 at $191 million, falling below the company's latest guidance for 2015 revenue of $200 million, plus or minus 3%.

"Our fourth quarter results were less-than-anticipated," explained Universal Display CFO Sid Rosenblatt, "which we believe was primarily due to year-end inventory management by our customers and product mix weighing more to our lower priced emitters. As we have noted in the past, short-term forecasting in this emerging OLED market environment is difficult, even though we are confident that this is a long-term growth market."

Now what: Looking forward, Rosenblatt added, "2016 is poised to be a year in which the OLED industry builds meaningful new capacity for the continued proliferation of OLEDs in the marketplace, [...] paving the foundation for the next wave of expansion in OLED mass production, which we believe is set to commence in 2017."

In the meantime, Universal Display expects 2016 revenue to increase 15% year over year, plus or minus 5%, equating to a range of roughly $208.7 million to $230.6 million. By comparison, consensus estimates called for higher 2016 revenue of $246.3 million.

This doesn't change Universal Display's long-term growth story, even if the market hates being told to hurry up and wait for more significant growth next year. But it's also worth noting shares of Universal Display are still up nearly 20% over the past year as of this writing, and I won't be the least bit surprised if the stock turns positive again as signs of OLED proliferation become more apparent as we delve further into 2016. As it stands, however, given its quarterly miss and light guidance, it's equally unsurprising the market is bidding down shares of this promising company today.

Steve Symington owns shares of Universal Display. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Universal Display. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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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