Among the long list of “next big things” one of the stalwarts has been LED lighting. It’s one of those technologies Yogi Berra might have had in mind when he said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” The odd thing is that LED lighting has long seemed to have its future ahead of it, so to speak, but the industry has always stopped just short of reaching it.
Without making too much fuss over a small-cap stock, Revolution Lighting Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: RVLT) is seeing its share price rise by nearly 25% today after reporting results this Friday morning. Yahoo! Finance does not have any estimates for the company, but Revolution posted an operating loss of $3.1 million in the quarter, more than four times worse than its loss in the same period in 2012. Even with adjustments Revolution’s operating loss totaled $1.8 million.
Ah, but the future, the future. In early October the company raised its guidance, saying it expected to double pro forma revenue to $35 million in 2013 and to hike gross margins to 35% or higher in each of the next three years. The stock jumped 40% that day and pulled other LED lighting makers with it.
Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) stock was upgraded to Buy that same morning by analysts at Canaccord Genuity and the firm put a new price target of $80 on the Cree’s shares. The company had recently introduced a new generation of LED light that it said is 78% smaller than a previous design yet packs the same performance punch.
Just a week earlier SemiLEDS Corp. (NASDAQ: LEDS) said that it had received a delisting notice from Nasdaq for failing to maintain a share price of at least $1 a share. The company also faced several class action lawsuits as earnings tanked after a dramatic run-up in April. Shares rose nearly 15% after Revolution’s October announcement.
Revolution today affirmed its earlier guidance and said that it expects organic revenue growth of about 50% in 2014, with gross margins of 35% and adjusted EBITDA margins of 15%. Revenues in the third quarter were up about 300%, most of which was attributed to acquisitions the company made earlier this year. And Revolution now says it is transitioning from the low-price, low-margin consumer retail market and going after the fast growing commercial, industrial, and municipal markets where margins are higher.
One bit of good news brightens up the whole LED sector. Shares of Revolution Lighting are up 22% about an hour before markets close today at $3.29 in a 52-week range of $0.46 to $5.50.
Cree’s shares are up about 1% at $56.22 in a 52-week range of $29.38 to $76.00, and SemiLEDS shares are up about 10% at $1.13 in a 52-week range of $0.60 to $2.44.