LED lighting expert Cree
The fourth quarter was a bona fide blockbuster as sales shot up 79% year over year to $265 million while GAAP earnings more than quadrupled to $52.8 million or $0.48 per share. Both of these metrics put an exclamation point at the end of the 2010 fiscal year by outpacing the full-year growth rates. The current trend is, in other words, even more positive than an otherwise not-shabby-at-all year.
The first quarter of 2011 is expected to show higher sales and earnings on top of this quarter's record levels, while running Cree's factories at closer to 90% than this period's breathless near-100% utilization rate. The company is building out its manufacturing capacity in order to keep up with rising demand and to give chief multisegment rival Philips
And unlike many other sectors of the high-tech world, the LED people are happy to compete on a level playing field. In memory chips, Rambus
So what if Cree's outlook underwhelmed Mr. Market? Long-term investors have only lost about a month's worth of what is still more than a double in 12 months, and the LED lighting market will continue to grow briskly for several more years. Then it comes down to whether Universal Display
Would you buy Cree on a dip like this? I have staked my All-Star CAPS rating on Cree beating the market over the next few years, and you can do likewise -- or the opposite -- in just a couple of clicks.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Universal Display is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.