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Why Cree, Inc. Stock Fell Today

By Steve Symington - Apr 6, 2016 at 1:48PM

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The LED lighting specialist dropped on disappointing preliminary results.

Image source: Cree.

What: Shares of Cree (WOLF 7.82%) were down 15.4% as of 12:30 p.m. ET Wednesday after the LED specialist announced weaker-than-expected preliminary fiscal third-quarter 2016 results.

So what: Cree anticipates quarterly revenue will be $367 million, below its previous guidance for $400 million to $430 million primarily due to lower revenue from its lighting products segment. Based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), that should translate to bottom line in the range of a $0.01-per-share loss to earnings of $0.01 per share. On an adjusted basis -- which excludes items like stock-based compensation and restructuring expenses -- earnings per share should be in the range of $0.13 to $0.15. Analysts, on average, were anticipating revenue of $414.4 million and adjusted earnings of $0.24 per share.

Now what: Cree elaborated that its lighting products underperformance was driven by three primary factors, including customer service disruptions from its ERP system conversion, new product delays, and a "slower than forecast calendar Q1."

But while I think the latter seems slightly outside of the company's direct control, Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda insisted, "I believe we've addressed the root causes that led to our recent business challenges. While it's premature to provide specific targets at this time, the order rate in commercial lighting improved in March, and we're optimistic that this, combined with demand for new products, will begin to drive growth in fiscal Q4."

Assuming that holds true -- and with the caveat that shares may well continue to decline in the coming days as investors digest this news -- now could be an excellent opportunity for investors to take advantage of Cree's near-term weakness.

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