Some LED stocks have had a rough go of late (such as Cree (NASDAQ:CREE) and the China LED stocks), but a few continue to defy gravity such as Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO), which posted another strong quarter last night. The company posted an EPS number of $1.33, which beat the analyst estimate of $1.21 on revenues of $254.7 million (which also beat the analyst estimate of $246.7 million). That’s good for quarter over quarter growth of 217% and 89%, respectively.
CEO John R. Peeler said the company continues to experience strong demand for MOCVD systems and that orders from China make up the bulk of its bookings. He also indicated that the response for its next generation MOCVD system, the TurboDisc MaxBright system, has been positive.
Looking ahead, the company is forecasting revenue for next quarter between $255-280 million, which is around what analysts predict ($271 million). EPS is forecasted at $1.20-1.45 (analysts estimate $1.34).
We currently forecast Q2 2011 orders at 25% or more above the Q1 level, and we have visibility for continued order strength through Q3. We are experiencing extremely strong levels of quoting activity, very positive customer reaction to MaxBright, and a large number of multi-system deals currently on the table. We expect MOCVD order patterns to remain lumpy from quarter to quarter depending upon the timing of customer deposits. We see order strength continuing in China as it builds its LED infrastructure for solid state lighting, and quoting activity in Korea and Taiwan is also picking up with improved utilization rates being reported at key customers. Orders for our Data Storage products should also improve sequentially as customer quoting activity for technology and capacity buys are improving to support anticipated hard drive unit growth in the second half of 2011.
Shares of VECO moved up about 5% on the news yesterday, and continues to work on a new base. The report may just be the catalyst for a move to a new 52-week high in the coming weeks.