LED Financial News: Philips, Cree, LED lighting in Asia Pacific

April 24, 2012
Cree and Royal Philips Electronics have both reported positive quarterly results, while a new report from Pike Research expects LED lighting in the Asia Pacific region to accelerate rapidly after 2015.
Philips Lighting gets first quarter bounce

Royal Philips Electronics (PHIA.AE) has reported that it delivered a healthy first-quarter 2012 net profit, which was helped by strong sales and gains from asset sales. Philips’ largest division, its healthcare operations, performed strongly, and the lighting division enjoyed its first increase in revenues in eight quarters.

“I’m happy to report that we are now seeing solid improvement across all sectors of our business and our growth figures for the first quarter confirm this trend, with Healthcare growing at 9%, Consumer Lifestyle growth businesses above 7%, and Lighting at 2%. Excluding external sales of Lumileds, which saw a double-digit decline in the quarter due to inventory correction in the channel and an increasing mix of internal sales, our Lighting business actually grew by 4% in the quarter. LED product sales for the quarter grew by 22%, said van Houten.

After taking the helm at Philips a year ago, van Houten aims to make the company leaner and more customer focused. He cautioned, however, about the remainder of 2012, citing the uncertainties in Europe, particularly in the healthcare sector and in construction markets.

The company delivered a net profit of EUR248 million (US326 million) for the first three months of the year, up more than 80% from EUR137 million (US180 million) in the same period last year. In the final quarter of 2011 it had posted a net loss of EUR162 million (US213 million), due to weak markets and losses from its TV business.

In efforts to stem its losses, Philips plans to cut 4500 jobs globally including 1400 positions in the Netherlands.

The full press release can be read here.

Cree Reports 30% year-over-year revenue increase

Cree (NASDAQ: CREE) based in Durham, NC has 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 but a 6% decrease compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

Net income (generally accepted accounting practices or GAAP) 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.

"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."

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%, which includes a stock-based compensation expense of approximately $2.5 million.

The full press release can be read here.

Pike Research expects LED lighting to take off in Asia Pacific

A recently published report from market research company Pike Research based in Boulder, CO states that in most Asia Pacific markets, governments are committing large amounts of funding to basic LED lighting infrastructure, creating an abundance of business opportunities. The firm expects sales of LED lighting systems to increase rapidly over the next ten years and to accelerate sharply after 2015. Unit shipments, including lamps and luminaires, will rise from 66 million in 2011 to 542 million in 2021 -- an increase of more than 700%.

Among the frontrunners in energy-efficient lighting technology are Japan, which revealed its plans to lead the LED lighting industry through its 21st Century Light Project more than a decade ago, and Taiwan, which has established a Next Generation Light Source Technology Development & Supply Strategy that calls for a greater reliance on LED lighting and material production as a national industry, reducing its focus on the semiconductor industry.

The report, "Energy Efficient Lighting in Asia Pacific," describes the key technology and market trends driving the use of LED and other high-efficiency lighting in the commercial, industrial and outdoor stationary sectors within the Asia Pacific region. The report analyzes policy issues, market adoption trends and the competitive landscape.