Here’s What Veeco’s Earnings Tell Us About LED

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) did not have the best sales figures in its first quarter owing to falling LED manufacturing gear demand, but it did much better than analysts had feared.

Shares for the company jumped in after-hours trading on Monday after the maker of LED, solar, and flat-panel production gear announced revenue of $139.9 million. Revenue was down $254.7 million from a year ago, but beat average predictions of $126 million. The company made 49 cents a share, down from $1.44 a year ago, but better than the consensus expectation of 19 cents per share.

Chief executive John Peeler said the company was “executing well” despite the weakened demand. “As anticipated, we experienced a weak bookings environment in Q1, with total orders of approximately $113 million,” Peeler said.

The company’s LED and solar orders totaled $85 million, with $70 million coming from metal organic chemical vapor deposition systems and $15 million through molecular beam epitaxy systems. MOCVD orders increased 19 percent sequentially, while MBE orders went up 71 percent. Data storage bookings declined 62 percent sequentially to $29 million.

However, the company remained positive about growth. Earlier on Monday, it said Hangzhou Silan Azure, an LED manufacturer in China, had placed a multi-tool order for MOCVD systems. The value of the order was not announced.

“LED customers remain cautious about capacity investment plans and it is still unclear when the market will recover,” Peeler said. “Some positive signs are emerging, including increasing tool utilization rates in Korea, Taiwan and China, and a pick-up in customer quoting activity.”

The company predicted revenue between $120 million and $145 million for the second quarter on a profit of 29 to 48 cents a share. The full fiscal revenue has been projected to be between $500 million and $600 million.

Shares were up more than 14 percent, or $4.35, to $34.55 in after-hours trading.