|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||55.00 - 57.00|
|52 Week Range||38.00 - 82.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.20|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Japan Display Inc., the struggling supplier of screens to Apple Inc., says it is in talks with customers on possible joint investments in next-generation organic light-emitting diode displays. Shares of JDI posted their biggest gain in 19 months.JDI is developing a technology that will deliver OLED screens that are sharper, less power hungry and are easier to produce, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Minoru Kikuoka said in an interview. While JDI is a few technical milestones short of deciding whether to push ahead, it has already started talks with some customers on investing in the new technology, Kikuoka said, declining to name specific companies.The launch of Apple’s first OLED iPhone in 2017 was seen as the beginning of the end for the long reign of liquid crystal displays - a dire threat for JDI because that is its core business. The company relies on Apple for about 60% of its revenue was falling behind in technology and lacked the funds needed to ramp up production. But forecasts of LCD’s demise missed the mark, giving JDI the breathing room to develop a smaller OLED for use in the Apple Watch. It is now considering entry into the smartphone market, a move which will pit it against Samsung Electronics Co. and Chinese manufacturers.“We have no intention of getting into a capex war with rivals,” Kikuoka said. “There is already tremendous interest in partnering with us on commercialization.”The shares surged as much as 37.5% to 66 yen, the biggest intraday gain since December 2018. They were at 62 yen at the midday break in Tokyo. Thursday morning’s gains helped recoup some of the 40% in market value JDI had shed this year.JDI intends to use a different manufacturing technology than the evaporation method used by rivals, Kikuoka said. Whether to advance to mass production will depend on its ability to raise output yields and customer needs at the time. He estimated that the company could commence full-scale manufacturing in Japan or abroad as early as 2022.Constituted from the remains of numerous ailing Japanese display makers in 2012, JDI mistimed large investments in LCD capacity and found itself struggling against abler competition from South Korean and Chinese rivals. Six straight years of losses have sent it in search of a capital infusion from overseas, but the list of potential suitors continued to dwindle. When Kikuoka took the helm in September, the company had just reached a new low, warning that if it’s not able to raise fresh capital it may face difficulties continuing its business.Since then, it secured a lifeline that included about 50 billion yen ($466 million) raised from Ichigo Trust and a refinancing scheme by Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, a state-owned fund that remains JDI’s largest shareholders. Apple has also pitched in by buying some of its manufacturing equipment.While the threat of insolvency has lifted, the company is still struggling to return to profit. It booked a 38.5 billion yen operating loss in the year ended March, after sales plunged 21%. JDI forecast sales will decline as much as 20% this fiscal year, citing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and slump in demand for screens in smartphones and cars.The industry’s looming shift to OLED is another factor weighing on its shares, which trade at less than a tenth the level when it listed in 2014. While Apple’s 2019 phone lineup included one LCD model and another was added in the first half of this year, the expectations are building that this year will mark a complete shift to OLED. Still, Kikuoka says the alarm is unwarranted.“It is more than a customer-supplier relationship, more akin to that of a co-developer supplier,” he said. “I don’t see our relationship diminishing.”(Adds JDI’s year-to-date share performance in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. suppliers plan to begin assembling a new low-cost iPhone in February, people familiar with the plan said, as the company looks to address a wider swath of the global smartphone market ahead of its 5G handsets later this year.The Cupertino, California-based company is expected to officially unveil the new phone as early as March, one person familiar with its road map said. The assembly work for the new handset will be split among Hon Hai Precision Industry, Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp., the people added.This will be the first lower-cost iPhone model since the iPhone SE. It will look similar to the iPhone 8 from 2017 and include a 4.7-inch screen, Bloomberg News has previously reported. The iPhone 8 is still on the market, currently selling for $449, whereas Apple sold the iPhone SE for $399 when that handset launched in 2016.The new phone is expected to have Touch ID built into the home button, reusing established Apple technology instead of opting for an in-display fingerprint sensor like most modern Android rivals. It will not have Apple’s Face ID biometric authentication, but it will feature the same processor as Apple’s current flagship device, the iPhone 11.An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.Apple Expects IPhone Shipments to Return to Growth in 2020Apple’s more affordable iPhones have proven popular with consumers, including the latest iPhone 11, whose starting price was $50 lower than Apple’s typical pricing. Strong demand for iPhones has prompted Apple to ask Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make more chips in the current quarter, according to two people familiar with the matter.Shares in Japan Display Inc., which supplies LCD screens for Apple’s lower-tier iPhones, closed 1.35% higher on Wednesday.Apple is planning a slew of new high-end iPhones for release later in 2020 that include 5G connectivity, faster processors, and new 3-D cameras on the back, Bloomberg News has reported.A cheaper offering may help Apple better compete in the most price-competitive and fast-growing emerging phone markets, particularly India. iPhones are still a hard sell in the country, which is overrun by aggressively-priced Android rivals coming in at less than $200. Still, Apple has shown a will to carve out a niche for itself and is eyeing locations for Apple stores within its borders.The U.S. tech juggernaut is hoping its handset shipments will return to growth this year, having set itself the goal of shipping more than 200 million units in 2020. The successor to the iPhone SE will play a significant role in that task.(Updates with Japan Display share price move)To contact the reporters on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at firstname.lastname@example.org;Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Sharp Corp. buying all or parts of Japan Display Inc. could bring more bad news for Wisconsin's hopes of hosting a world-class display factory.That’s because Osaka-based Sharp is actually owned by Foxconn Technology Group, the Taiwanese iPhone assembler that at one point said it would invest $10 billion to build a leading-edge 10.5-generation liquid crystal display plant in the U.S. state, a battleground that is key to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.Despite a ground-breaking ceremony in 2018 featuring Trump and Foxconn founder Terry Gou, however, the expansion hasn’t taken off and the state and Foxconn are enaged in a high-stakes game of poker over tax credits. Now, the Sharp and JDI deal could push the Midwesterners, who were promised 3,000 jobs, further to the sidelines.Sharp’s Chairman and CEO Tai Jeng-wu is a long-time lieutenant of Gou. JDI is negotiating with Sharp, and its key client Apple Inc., to sell the company’s plant in Hakusan, in central Japan, Nikkei reported Friday. Sharp later confirmed that it’s considering the move. Both companies make display for iPhones and iPads.Sharp isn’t Foxconn’s only LCD business. It also owns Taiwan’s Innolux Display Corp. A decade ago, Innolux announced a three-way merger with Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. and TPO Displays Corp. to form Taiwan’s largest and the world’s third-largest display panel maker.Gou was very blunt about his reason for that deal. “This ambition is very clear, we want to be a key player,” in panels, he said at the time. And that’s just what he has become.A takeover of some or all of JDI could make sense. When Foxconn finally took control of Sharp in 2016, after a four-year battle, the Japanese company was in trouble. It had among the best technology in the world, and a key client in Apple, but inefficient operations and lack of capital meant it was losing money and lagging behind South Korean rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co.Thanks to Foxconn’s skill at efficient manufacturing, Tai managed to turn Sharp around in fiscal 2018. A year later, it posted its largest net income in over a decade.In February, I argued that the Foxconn-Sharp merger ought to be a template for JDI in considering a foreign buyout, given the lack of local potential partners. Tai was reported as saying in June that he was in fact interested in helping JDI if he could get support from the Japanese government.A Sharp-style turnaround can be done for JDI. But that would mean Foxconn owning at least three display businesses: Innolux, Sharp and parts of JDI. A fourth, let’s call it Foxconn Wisconsin, would be overkill. The argument can be made that bringing more businesses together breeds size and scale. But such efficiencies get lost on a 14-hour flight from Osaka to Chicago (Foxconn’s site is in Racine County, an hour north of O’Hare International Airport) and in a nation that has almost no background in advanced display manufacturing.Foxconn Wisconsin would be further pressured by increasing capacity that’s coming online in China, where the government props up local companies as part of its national technology-independence drive, which could push prices and profitability down.The $3 billion in sweeteners that Wisconsin offered to Foxconn could look like chump change compared to the amount of money that Beijing is willing to spend to develop homegrown expertise.Foxconn can hold back the Chinese pressure by building large, lean and efficient operations in Japan and Taiwan. But that makes it even harder to argue the case for a white elephant project in a far-off land.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.