Cree reports financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012

Date Announced: 23 Apr 2012

Durham, NC - Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in LED lighting, today announced revenue of $284.8 million for its third quarter of fiscal 2012, ended March 25, 2012. This represents a 30% increase compared to revenue of $219.2 million reported for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and a 6% decrease compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2012. GAAP net income for the third quarter was $9.5 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, a decrease of 50% year-over-year compared to GAAP net income of $18.9 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2011. On a non-GAAP basis, net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $23.3 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, a decrease of 22% year-over-year compared to non-GAAP net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 of $30.1 million, or $0.27 per diluted share.

"Our third quarter earnings per share were in the middle of our target range as strong factory execution and a tax benefit offset the impact of revenue being slightly below our target range," stated Chuck Swoboda, Cree Chairman and CEO. "Overall company backlog is stronger than it was at this point last quarter, with Lighting, LEDs and Power and RF all tracking ahead of Q2, although order visibility is still limited. Our focus remains on driving adoption through innovation and we believe we are well positioned to continue leading the transition to LED lighting and drive growth in our business."

-Gross margin increased 30 basis points from Q2 of fiscal 2012 to 34.9% on a GAAP basis and 35.6% on a non-GAAP basis.
-Cash and investments increased $22.8 million from Q2 of fiscal 2012 to $710.1 million.
-Accounts receivable (net) increased $11.8 million from Q2 of fiscal 2012 to $168.2 million, with days sales outstanding of 53.
-Inventory increased $9.5 million from Q2 of fiscal 2012 to $196.8 million and represents 96 days of inventory.

Recent Business Highlights:

-Released our new XSP Series LED Street Lights, which are redefining the economics of LED street lights by more than doubling the lumens per dollar and taking payback to the next level;
-Introduced the XLamp® XT-E LED, the second product based on our new SC3 Technology Platform, which doubles the lumens per dollar of lighting-class LEDs;
-Expanded our CR Troffer Series to address more applications and eliminate the use of antiquated fluorescent technology in new or retrofit commercial and industrial settings;
-Set a new R&D performance record with a prototype LED, which produced 254 lumens per watt;
-Released our new AerobladesTM outdoor lighting product line, which combines cutting-edge technology with high design.

Business Outlook:

For its fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 ending June 24, 2012, Cree targets revenue in a range of $295 million to $315 million with GAAP gross margin targeted to be 35% +/- and non-GAAP gross margin targeted to be 36% +/-. Our GAAP gross margin targets include stock-based compensation expense of approximately $2.5 million, while our non-GAAP targets do not. Operating expenses are targeted to increase by +/- $5 million on a GAAP basis and +/- $4 million on a non-GAAP basis. The tax rate is targeted at 13.0% for fiscal Q4. GAAP net income is targeted at $5 million to $12 million, or $0.04 to $0.10 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income is targeted in a range of $23 million to $30 million, or $0.20 to $0.26 per diluted share. The GAAP and non-GAAP net income targets are based on an estimated 116.6 million diluted weighted average shares. Targeted non-GAAP earnings exclude expenses related to the amortization of acquired intangibles of $0.06 per diluted share and stock-based compensation expense of $0.10 per diluted share.

Quarterly Conference Call:

Cree will host a conference call at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time today to review the highlights of the fiscal third quarter 2012 results and the fiscal fourth quarter 2012 business outlook, including significant factors and assumptions underlying the targets noted above. The conference call will be available to the public through a live audio web broadcast via the Internet. Log on to Cree's website at www.cree.com and go to “Investor Relations - Financial Events and Presentations” for webcast details. The call will be archived and available on the website through May 1, 2012.

Supplemental financial information, including the non-GAAP reconciliation attached to this press release, is available in the “Investor Relations” section of Cree's website, under “Financial Information,” “Quarterly Results,” at www.cree.com.

About Cree, Inc.

Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and making energy-wasting traditional lighting technologies obsolete through the use of energy-efficient, mercury-free LED lighting. Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting, and semiconductor products for power and radio frequency (RF) applications.

Cree's product families include LED fixtures and bulbs, blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs, lighting-class power LEDs, power-switching devices and RF devices. Cree products are driving improvements in applications such as general illumination, electronic signs and signals, power supplies and solar inverters.

For additional product and company information, please refer to www.cree.com.

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Cree, Inc.

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Web Site:www.cree.com

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