SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

February 10, 2011 11:25 ET

LED Market Looks Overcrowded

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Cree & Veeco Instruments

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 10, 2011) - The light-emitting diode (LED) market has been on the upswing in recent years due to the rise in sales of consumer electronics products such as mobile phones and television screens. In addition, 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. The rise in LED popularity has led to an overcrowded industry and a sudden surge in government-backed Chinese LED makers has eaten into the market shares held by the likes of Cree and Veeco Instruments. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the semiconductor equipment and materials industry and provides research reports on Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) and Veeco Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

The first red light for US LED makers came in late 2010 when Citigroup downgraded Veeco. Citigroup analyst, Timothy M. Arcuri's concern was that policy changes in China could lead to a significant falloff in orders in 2011. According to research firm iSuppli, China will invest $10.5 billion in LED projects in the next three years, and the nation's annual market for LEDs is expected to reach $7.08 billion in 2014, up from $4.37 billion in 2010.

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Several companies in the industry who specialize in LED products have suffered significant selloffs already. Cree proceeded to magnify concerns when its fiscal second quarter earnings missed consensus analyst estimates. For the company's fiscal third quarter, Cree forecast EPS of 38 cents to 45 cents.

Veeco is more optimistic. For 2011, the company projected a profit of more than $5 a share, versus the Wall Street consensus of $4.96 a share, as provided by Thomson Reuters. For the financial year 2010, Veeco earned $4.42 per share, a substantial gain from 21 cents a share in the previous year.

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