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Cree and Veeco migrate to profitable LED sectors

Cree is now focusing on general LED lighting applications while Veeco is also concentrating much of its efforts on LED manufacturing equipment after its profit more than doubled in the last quarter.

According to the latest Bedford Report, despite near-term headwinds, the LED market remains well positioned for growth.

While the "backlighting" market for LEDs has slowed significantly this year, LEDs are on the verge of overtaking both incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, in terms of use, as governments, businesses and consumers seek to curb emissions.

IMS Research's latest "LED Supply and Demand Report" expects longer-term strength in the LED market. The firm estimates 36 % revenue compound annual growth rate from 2010 to 2015 for packaged LEDs to $6.3B, up from $1.75B in 2011.

In the short term, IMS predicts a slowdown in the backlighting market, however. Backlighting, which ranges across consumer electronics such as flat panel TVs and cell phones, is expected to grow at a mere 2 % this year, while the general lighting market for LEDs will be the fastest-growing market, up 29 %.

Cree has taken steps in recent quarters to distance itself from the backlighting market, and focus more on the general lighting space. Cree expects fourth quarter revenues of $225 million to $245 million, with earnings seen at 25 cents to 31 cents per share.

Veeco CEO John Peeler said the company is confident it is in a good position to grow its LED and solar, and data storage businesses this year and beyond. In the most recent quarter Veeco said that its profit more than doubled as improved orders for data storage and its line of LED and solar products helped drive a surge in revenue.
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