LED Makers Get Boost from Upgrades (AIXG, VECO, CREE, RBCN, CVX)

Analysts at Deutsche Bank upgraded two LED makers this morning and the effect is rippling through through the other names in the industry. Aixtron SE (NASDAQ: AIXG) and Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) were upgraded from ‘hold’ to ‘buy’ and Veeco got a new price target of $40. The bank’s analysts said they expect the first quarter to be the trough for the industry and that they “expect positive share price momentum to continue as the order visibility improves.”

Shares in the LED makers have a long row to hoe before they’re anywhere near 52-week highs however. Along with Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) and Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN), share prices are down at least -30% (Veeco) to nearly -58% (Rubicon).

The market for LED lighting suffered from low-levels of spending last year, both by consumers and by state and local governments. As the economy improves this year, spending is expected increase and relatively expensive LED lighting is expected to benefit.

Earlier this month LED-lighting start-up Bridgelux signed a deal with Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) to install LED streetlights in several California cities. According to Forbes, Chevron will upgrade the streetlights at no upfront cost to the cities.

Today, shares of Aixtron are up more than 16%, at $19.03 in a 52-week range of $11.18-$44.90.

Veeco’s shares are up nearly 12% at $33.33 in a 52-week range of $20.35-$57.67.

Cree’s shares are up more than 6% at $30.38 in a 52-week range of $20.25-$50.58.

Rubicon’s shares are up more than 4% at $11.28 in a 52-week range of $8.20-29.79.

Paul Ausick