Cree Brings Risks Back for All LED Players

LED bulbs
Source: Thinkstock
Following a disappointing outlook offered on Tuesday night following a near-miss earnings report,  Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) took several ratings hits today, but one firm kept the stock as a ‘buy,’ only cutting the price target.

Cree said it expects its first quarter 2014 revenues will total $380 to $400 million. The mid-point of that range was below the consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters of $399 million. Earnings per share were forecast in a range of $0.36 to $0.41, lower than the estimate of $0.43.

Analysts’ opinions mostly turned south:

  • D.A. Davidson cut its rating from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral’ and lowered its price target from $79 to $65.
  • Northland Capital Partners cut its rating from ‘outperform’ to ‘market perform’ and lowered its price target from $63 to $61.
  • Needham & Co. maintained a ‘buy’ rating on the stock, but cut the target price from $80 to $74.
  • Susquehanna cut its rating from ‘positive’ to ‘neutral’.
  • Sterne Agee kept its ‘buy’ rating on the stock, but lowered its price target.

Cree hit a 52-week high of $76.00 yesterday, right before posting its earnings. Even with today’s slide, the stock is up more than 175% from its 2012 low. This morning we see Cree trading down more than 19% at about $61.04 in very active trading, against a 52-week range of $24.50 to $76.00.

Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) also competes in the LED space, and this one is up about 0.4% at $34.30 on thin volume trading. The stock’s 52-week range is $26.15 to $43.18.

Aixtron SE (NASDAQ: AIXG) is the European player here in the LED sector, and its shares have been very volatile and have not recovered the same as Cree. Aixtron ADRs are down 2%, at $17.07 against a 52-week range of $11.21 to $18.06.

Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN) is another player we like to feature despite its market cap being only $216 million. Rubicon shares are down 0.8% at $9.56 so far. The 52-week high is $10.77.