(Updates share movement, adds analyst comments)
By Tasim Zahid
March 25 (Reuters) - British nanotechnology company Nanoco Group Plc expects the first TVs using its quantum dots technology to be released by mid-year, an analyst who attended a company briefing said, sending its stock up as much as 9 percent.
Nanoco said earlier on Tuesday that it had signed a joint development programme with a major South Korean electronics company, which it did not identify but is widely believed by analysts to be LG Electronics Inc.
The South Korean company will launch products using Nanoco’s technology following this development period, which will run until July, Nanoco said.
LG, along with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, dominates the flat panel TV market.
Cadmium-free quantum dots, made of semiconductor materials, enhance colours on display screens such as LED TVs. Manufacturers can also integrate quantum dot technology without needing to add new infrastructure.
“People have come from the analyst presentation with a lot more confidence that the company is on track to achieve the first commercial TV launch in mid-2014,” Cannacord Genuity’s Arun George said after Nanaco’s post-earnings conference call for analysts.
“The key takeaway of the result is that they have enough cash to support the company through the commercial launch,” he added.
Nanaco’s shares dropped as much as 11 percent in early trading after the company reported a bigger half-year loss and said a plant being built by Dow Chemical Co in South Korea that would produce its quantum dot technology would not be completed until early next year.
Liberum analyst Janardan Menon said before the company’s briefing that the early sell-off was a result of the delay in the plant start-up, which would postpone volume production by 6-7 months.
Manchester-based Nanoco reported a pre-tax loss of 5 million pounds ($8.2 million) for the six months ended Jan. 31, up from a loss of 1.6 million pounds a year earlier.
The company’s shares were up 6.25 percent at 106.25 pence at 1435 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. ($1 = 0.6065 British Pounds) (Reporting by Tasim Zahid in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Ted Kerr)