Editor's note: In the previous version of this article, we indicated that Veeco's atomic force microscopes (AFM) compete with the Titan line of microscopes from FEI
For the latest quarter, the data-storage and high-brightness-LED segments performed strongly, but the semiconductor and scientific-research segments were weaker. Combining all the results, though, resulted in revenue of $111.6 million, which beat analyst expectations of $108 million and represented an 8% increase from a year ago. Earnings came in at $3 million, or $0.10 per share.
The immediate future looks promising. Orders rose 21% higher from a year ago and 13% higher from the previous quarter. Data-storage orders also rose and are being driven by the trend toward perpendicular recording among its hard-drive customers. Perpendicular recording technologies allow companies like Seagate
Orders from high-brightness-LED manufacturers more than doubled from the previous year to reach $27.4 million, and Veeco believes that the rising use of those brighter LEDs in LCD notebook-computer monitors and TV screens will continue to drive investments from these customers.
While the semiconductor segment was somewhat weak this quarter, it may be picking up. Orders reached $20 million, a 98% uptick from the previous quarter and a 6% rise from the previous year. Management also just announced a large order of atomic force microscopes (AFMs) from semiconductor and data-storage companies -- a development that appears to show that Veeco's AFM technology is well accepted.
Overall, it was a good quarter for Veeco, but the quarter also revealed the problem with being involved in several unrelated cyclical market segments -- namely, while one or two segments may do well over a given time period, another one always seems to be holding back the results. Nevertheless, with Veeco's end markets growing strongly, an investor with a long time horizon should have some reason for optimism here.
More from The Motley Fool
Should I File for Bankruptcy?
When you're deep in debt, declaring bankruptcy might seem like the quickest solution to your problem. But there are consequences associated with filing for bankruptcy that you need to be aware of first.
Will Xiaomi Launch the Biggest Tech IPO of 2018?
“China’s Apple” could launch the third biggest tech IPO in history next year.
The 3 Best Fast Food Stocks of 2017
KFC helped Yum Brands earn a spot on this list to join two well-known burger chains.