Cree LED revenue grows more slowly than expected

Oct. 21, 2010
Cree’s LED revenue grew slightly, but not enough to meet analysts’ targets, mainly due to a decline in LED chip sales in the backlighting market.
Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) has reported revenue of $268.4 million for the quarter ended September 26, 2010. This represents a 59% increase compared to revenue of $169.1 million for the same quarter last year, and a 1.5% increase sequentially.

GAAP net income for the quarter increased 176% year-over-year to $58.0 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $21.0 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for same quarter last year.

The company’s LED product revenue was $244.4 million, up 57% compared with $156 million in the same quarter last year, and up 2% sequentially. During the quarter, Cree experienced a decline of almost 20% in LED chip sales as a result of weakness in notebook and monitor backlighting demand.

Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO said: “Although total revenue was on the low end of our target range of $270-280 million due to a decline in LED chips, LED lighting adoption continues to gain momentum and the growth drivers for the company remain on track.”

The consensus revenue target among analysts was $278 million, and the company’s shares suffered as a result of missing this target and posting lower-than-expected guidance for the December quarter of $270-280 million in revenue, compared with a consensus figure closer to $300 million.

The revenue miss was attributed to weaker-than-expected backlighting revenue; greater than anticipated European seasonality, delays in the China street-lighting market; and component pricing pressures.

High-voltage LEDs

In related news, Cree recently introduced high-voltage LEDs that are designed for space-constrained applications such as LED lamps and bulbs. For these applications, high-voltage LEDs can be used to achieve smaller, more-efficient power supplies and thermal systems.

At 60 mA and 20 V, the XLamp MX-6S LED delivers luminous flux of up to 139 lumens at 6000 K, or 114 lumens at 3000 K. Meanwhile, at 115 mA and 10.7 V, the XLamp MX-3S LED provides up to 122 lumens at 6000 K and 100 lumens at 3000 K.