SemiLEDS Posts Smaller-than-expected Loss (LEDS, CREE, AIXG, VECO, RBCN)

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The LED industry has suffered an 18-month dry spell as sales have tanked and makers have had to re-trench to keep costs in line. The market might be starting to recover now, even if slowly. Taiwan-based SemiLEDS Corp. (NASDAQ: LEDS) reported second fiscal quarter earnings today that were not as bad as expected, although the company’s outlook for its third quarter is below expectations.

The company, which plays in the same market as Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE), Aixtron AG (NASDAQ: AIXG), Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO), and Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN), reported revenue of $7.9 million, higher than the consensus estimate of $7.4 million and an adjusted EPS loss of -$0.22 compared with an estimate for an EPS loss of -$0.25. Gross margins fell to -9%, compared with a gross margin of 23% in the same period a year ago. The company said that “[m]argins continue to improve through continued expense management.”

For the current quarter, the company forecasts a GAAP EPS loss of -$0.25 to -$0.27 on revenue of $7.9-$8.9 million. SemiLEDS continues to plan on a negative gross margin. The consensus estimate called for an adjusted EPS loss of -$0.22, which should come out about even with the company’s estimate.

Shares of SemiLEDS are up about 1.3% this morning at $4.00 in a 52-week range of $2.60-$12.08.

Paul Ausick

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