The common lightbulb is looking more obsolete every day. Even in the middle of a massive market upheaval, Cree
The light-emitting diode (LED) technologist reported a net profit of $0.07 per share on $140.4 million of sales, a 24% revenue boost over last year's first quarter, but about half the bottom-line income. The year-ago results included a decidedly one-time gain of $0.13 per share, though, as management cashed in its investment in tiny Color Kinetics, now owned by Philips Electronics
So this little train is clearly rolling in the right direction. LEDs are power-efficient and produce a more controlled color than old-style bulbs, and companies like Cree, Philips Lumileds, and Siemens
Now, there's plenty of competition in this space. Lightbulb makers like Osram, General Electric
The good news for Cree and its rivals is that we're talking about a huge market. There are 4 billion light bulbs in the U.S. alone, and old-style bulbs will soon be illegal in markets like Canada and Australia. It won't take a big slice of that sort of market to make a massive difference to Cree's $500 million annual sales run-rate.
Turn out the light when you leave the room. Then throw away the bulb and get a better technology. Your portfolio could use the same treatment.
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Universal Display and he loves his twin-LED flashlight; he holds no other position in any of the other companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.