Key Takeaways from 6 Leading Panel Suppliers' Q1’18 Results
Last week we saw 6 different display suppliers release their earnings results. In general, we saw Chinese suppliers outperform Taiwan and Korean suppliers helped by government subsidies, lower labor and fab costs and the exclusion of interest payments in odd quarters. We saw flexible OLED smartphone panel shipments drop rapidly and LTPS LCDs take share from OLEDs. Smartphone panel volumes were weak, especially at the high end, which boosted blended unit ASPs and reduced area ASPs as smartphone panels carry higher prices on an area basis. While OLED volumes fell faster than LTPS volumes, OLED margins continued to outperform LCD margins. Panel makers are optimistic about TV volumes in the rest of 2018 despite experiencing above average channel inventories in Q1’18. We did see LG reporting OLED TVs in shortage and reveal they may convert even more LCD capacity to OLED TV capacity. Let’s start with some comparisons.