Adjusted earnings increased 15% year over year, to $0.39 per share, driven by sales that were16% higher, and landing at $405 million. Analysts were looking for slightly lower earnings and higher revenue, so it was a mixed bag from Wall Street's perspective. The LED lighting specialist's gross margins declined from 38.8% to 37.8% on a non-GAAP basis, but operating margins climbed 0.3% to 13.2%.
Looking ahead, Cree centered its fourth-quarter revenue guidance around $445 million. Non-GAAP earnings per share should land close to $0.41, give or take $0.03. Revenue guidance came in stronger than the current analyst forecast for the upcoming period, while earnings targets were set below the Street view.
Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda called it a "solid" quarter, positioning the company to grow in the next period. "These results once again demonstrate our ability to deliver strong operating results while continuing to make longer term investments in new technology and building the Cree brand," Swoboda said in a prepared statement.