LG Display: Q1’13 Results Were Good & Bad

via John Gruber. Min-Jeong Lee, The Wall Street Journal:

LG Display Co. swung to a net profit in the first quarter as tablet screen sales to Apple Inc. increased, and analysts said the South Korean display maker’s fortunes this year will be closely tied to demand for the U.S. company’s gadgets.

This is how I understand the analysis by Min-Jeong Lee: LG Display lost money in Q4’12, but sold more LCDs geared for Apple’s iPad or iPad mini (or both?) and that’s why the South Korea-based display manufacturer made a profit in Q1’13. And the only way for LGD to continue generating profits in 2013 is for Apple’s iPads to sell well and for Apple to continue procuring iPad displays from LGD.

Here’s a different take on the same news. Miyoung Kim, Reuters:

LG Display Co Ltd reported its smallest profit since it returned to the black in the second quarter of last year, as demand for iPhone and iPad screens from Apple weakened amid concerns the U.S. company is losing its luster in the mobile device market.

Here’s what I think Miyoung Kim is trying to say: Apple is concerned the U.S. is losing its luster in the mobile device market. So the company’s demand for iPhone and iPad LCDs from LGD weakened. And that’s why LGD’s profit in Q1’13 was the smallest since Q2’12.

How can both of these analyses be true? Let’s see if we can make sense out of these seemly contradictory analyses. LGD’s sales of iPad LCDs to Apple increased. The portion of iPad LCD sales to Apple grew relative to the portion of iPhone LCD sales to Apple. LGD’s sales of iPhone LCDs to Apple decreased. Because LGD’s sales of iPad LCDs to Apple grew the South Korea-based display manufacturer was able to eck out a profit in Q1’13, but because LGD’s sales of iPhone LCDs to Apple declined profits could have been better but weren’t. I think that makes sense, doesn’t it?