You've heard all about Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens, but you may never have seen one. When should you expect the wave of the future to crash into your pockets, office, and living room?
Well, how soon is now? We've finally been told which consumer electronics actually use Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick Universal Display's
Where's the beef?
So far, the information has been limited to who makes the screens themselves under technology license from Universal. Last year, it was mostly AU Optronics
"The customer list includes some of the biggest names in the industry -- Toshiba, Hitachi
Samsung SDI plans to introduce bigger OLED screens in the near future, starting with models in the 3.5-inch to 7-inch range next year. "Their announced road map includes 14-, 15-, and 21-inch panels in 2009 and large 40- to 42-inch Full-HD OLED TVs in 2010." In other words, what we're looking at today are just the very first baby steps of the wholesale display revolution we've been waiting for. At least now we know when to expect the big guns to roll out.
There's more where that came from
The buck doesn't stop with Samsung SDI. Universal signed a commercial supply agreement with Taiwanese manufacturer Chi Mei El earlier this year, opening up the local Chinese and Korean handset markets. Samsung Electronics, a corporate cousin to SDI, plans to sell 14-inch AMOLED televisions in 2009, and Seiko Epson has an 8-inch product waiting in the wings. LG.Philips LCD
And you remember Sony's
Show me the money!
This quarter's revenue and net losses were in the same ballpark as the year-ago figures -- $3.1 million in sales and a $3.0 million GAAP loss. Fellow Fool Rich Smith worried about continuing losses and cash burn when he previewed this earnings report, and Rich wasn't wrong.
But last year, only $735,000 of the sales came from commercial chemicals and patent licensing, vs. about $1.4 million this time. The balance in both cases was research and development contract deals. Abramson referred to the high number of OLEDs Samsung SDI can make over the next year as already under contract for delivery, so the electronics industry clearly wants as much OLED as the manufacturers can give it.
The majority of the company's revenue is still research-related, but Universal Display is ready to rock out of the research stage and onto the mature, commercial, money-making scene. The manufacturing partners are in place, and their clients are some of the biggest global names in electronics. The future is now.
Universal Display is a longtime pick of the Rule Breakers newsletter. Grab a free 30-day trial pass to see how the display specialist has beaten the S&P 500 by more than 60 percentage points since its recommendation in 2005.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a Universal Display shareholder but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is always available in commercial volume.