Cree Beats Q2 Targets, Whiffs on Guidance; Shares Jump

Shares of LED lighting specialist Cree (NASDAQ: CREE  ) spiked as much as 6.4% higher in after-hours trading today. Investors cheered the arrival of Cree's second-quarter earnings report, where the company easily beat Wall Street's earnings estimates.

Cree reported adjusted earnings of $0.46 per share, well ahead of analysts' $0.39 target and a 54% year-over-year increase. Sales jumped 20% over the year-ago period, landing at $415 million.

Sales of lighting fixtures jumped 42% while LED bulbs saw 7% higher revenue. The company introduced several new products during the quarter, ranging from LED-based light bulb replacements to high-intensity street light fixtures. Gross margins declined 1% year-over-year to 37.5% as the product mix shifted over to the lower-margin fixtures division.

"Our strategy is working, the business is growing and we've made great initial progress building the Cree brand," CEO Chuck Swoboda said in a prepared statement.

Looking ahead, Cree expects gross margins to firm up while revenue guidance landed below Wall Street's forward estimates. Non-GAAP earnings should be roughly $0.38 per share, give or take $0.04 in either direction. Analysts are currently looking for next-quarter earnings of about $0.40 per share.

Including the after-hours price bump, Cree shares have nearly doubled over the past 52 weeks.

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Anders Bylund

Anders Bylund is a Foolish Technology and Entertainment Specialist. Where the two markets intersect, you'll find his wheelhouse. He has been an official Fool since 2006 but a jester all his life.

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