Cree and Rubicon announce financials, deliver positive news for the LED segment

Aug. 8, 2012
Cree reports 26% year-over-year increase in quarterly revenue while at LED sapphire substrate manufacturer Rubicon Technology, quarter-over-quarter revenue grew from $10.2 to $17 million.

LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) manufacturer Cree announced revenue of $306.8 million for its fiscal 2012 4th quarter that ended June 24. Rubicon Technology expects quarterly revenue to grow from $17 million to the $18-$21 million range.

Cree financials improve

Cree's quarterly revenue was 26% up from the $243 million reported in the same quarter last year. Moreover it represented an 8% increase over the prior quarter this year. Annual 2012 revenue was $1.16 billion, up from $988 million the prior year.

"We finished the year strong in our fiscal fourth quarter with record revenue and non-GAAP earnings per share on the high end of our target range," stated Chuck Swoboda, Cree Chairman and CEO. "Overall, LED lighting adoption continues to increase and we remain focused on being the leader in innovation to grow our business by enabling our customers to realize the tremendous benefits of LED technology. While we are encouraged by our progress, the macroeconomic environment is impacting our growth outlook in the near term."

Cree is targeting revenue in a range of $305-$325 million for its first fiscal 2013 quarter. Moreover it expects gross margin in the 36% range, and that would represent a slight improvement over 2012 performance.

Larger wafers boost Rubicon

Rubicon's growth for the quarter that ended June 30 was relatively modest, although the company reported positive news specifically relative to 6-in wafers, and that's an area of strength for the company. The company said revenue from the larger wafers increased 84% sequentially to $10.1 million and represents 59% of the quarterly revenue.

"I am pleased with the growth in our six-inch wafer business in the quarter and expect additional growth in the second half of the year," said Raja Parvez, president and CEO of Rubicon. Gross profit was break even for the quarter, however, and the company attributed weak pricing for 2- and 4-in sapphire cores as one culprit.

Rubicon said it saw the beginning of a recovery in the LED market during the quarter. The company expects margins to improve going forward, but also said inventory of smaller wafers will remain a problem.