LED Backlight Drives Veeco‘s Q3 Revenu up

Veeco Instruments Inc. announced its financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2009. The third quarter revenue was $99 million, down 15% on $115.7m a year ago but up on $72m last quarter and well above the guidance of $80-88 million.

In particular, LED & Solar process equipment revenue was $53m, up 66% from $31.9m last quarter, due mainly to an increase in demand for high-brightness LEDs for backlighting applications. Compared to 39.8% a year ago and 33.9% last quarter, gross margin has rebounded to 41.4%. In particular, LED & Solar gross margin has risen from 36% a year ago to 41.7%.

“We have seen an unprecedented demand from LED manufacturers in China, Korea and Taiwan for our TurboDisc MOCVD systems as they ramp production for laptop and TV backlighting,” says Peeler. In MOCVD, Veeco has been chosen as the supplier of choice for an important Korean TV maker. Meanwhile, the firm’s MOCVD systems have also been selected by two leading US LED makers (Philips Lumileds and Bridgelux) to ramp production for general illumination. In total, Veeco received multi-unit orders from eight LED makers. “We believe Veeco is gaining share [reckoned to be about 30%] by penetrating key accounts around the world, particularly in China and Korea,” says Peeler.

Veeco’s fourth quarter 2009 revenues are currently forecasted to be between $120-$130 million, with earnings per share between $0.25 to $0.35 on a GAAP basis and $0.29 to $0.35 on a non-GAAP basis. Veeco’s 2009 revenue guidance is now $353-$363 million, up from previous guidance of $310-$325 million.

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