Shares Crater on Cree Earnings Report

Shares of Durham, N.C.-based Cree (NASDAQ: CREE  ) were cratering this morning, in the wake of an earnings announcement last night that showed the company growing its revenues 19% in fiscal 2013, nearly doubling its net income to $87 million for the year, hitting its earnings target, yet producing guidance that fell short of expectations for both earnings and revenues.

For fiscal Q4, Cree reported earning $0.23 per diluted share on $375 million in total revenue, a 22% increase over last year's Q4 revenues, and a 156% increase in diluted earnings per share. Pro forma profits of $0.38 per share matched analyst expectations for the quarter.

Cree's real problem -- and the reason the stock was off 20% in early Wednesday trading -- is guidance. The maker of energy-efficient lighting predicted that in fiscal Q1 2014, it will collect revenues of between $380 million and $400 million. At the midpoint, that is short of the $399 million that analysts are expecting. Cree also promised to earn pro forma profits of between $0.36 and $0.41 per share in Q1 -- even further short of analyst expectations of $0.43.

Investors have flocked to Cree's stock this year in the expectation that more companies and households will replace old fluorescent and incandescent lights with LED bulbs. Since the start of the year, the stock had soared 123% through the close of regular trading Tuesday.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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