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Cree Beats Q2 Targets, Whiffs on Guidance; Shares Jump

By Anders Bylund - Jan 21, 2014 at 5:03PM

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LED lighting expert Cree beat analyst estimates in the third quarter, though forward guidance came in light. All things considered, shares jumped on the news.

Shares of LED lighting specialist Cree (WOLF 5.70%) 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.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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