Shares of Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL) were worth more than $30 apiece for a short while, back in the hazy, crazy days on the decade-old tech bubble. I wouldn't be surprised to see the stock getting back there again in the near future -- despite what today's trading action might tell you.

And here's why: Universal Display's OLED technology has undeniably passed the magical tipping point where business momentum forms a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle. OLED is now a well-established selling point of late-model tablet computers and smartphones rather than a niche feature you never find in the wild. LG Display (NYSE: LPL) and Samsung are racing to build more advanced, bigger factories to crank out massive volumes of OLED screens, and white OLED lighting will soon follow the same path to consumer acceptance.

Every step along that road, Universal Display profits as it builds economies of scale. That's not a bad spot to sit in when omni-national giants like Samsung and HTC are doing the heavy lifting of marketing the technology -- and even Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is rumored to ditch its much-hyped Retina Display once the supply of OLED panels becomes strong enough.

Sure, the third quarter may look like a disappointment because of continued net losses, even if you back out the non-cash accounting effects of stock warrants looming larger as the share price rises. But you can't argue with sales rising 37% year over year and beating analyst expectations by 25%. That jump would have looked even stronger if Kyocera hadn't boosted the year-ago revenue with a $1.5 million one-time gain after the company got out of the OLED business, causing deferred revenue to immediately be recognized. Back that out, and you'd get a 93% sales boost.

That's how strong the demand is for OLED screens, and we're still just talking about high quantities of smallish smartphone screens. OLED-equipped tablets, TV sets, and other large-screen products should start hitting retail markets next year as those new Korean production lines get into gear. It's going to be a whole new ballgame.

Universal Display is a small business and followed by no more than seven Wall Street analysts, none of whom expected to see sales ramping up this high and this fast. As Spidey might have said, "With great revenue come great economies of scale." That pesky red ink on the bottom line will soon be a fading memory for Universal Display and its shareholders.

Add Universal Display to your watchlist to keep a closer eye on how the OLED industry develops from here.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google and Universal Display are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.