Veeco Instruments Inc. Wednesday reported a fourth quarter net loss of $22.1 million, or 57 cents per share, versus a loss of $8.6 million, or 22 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, as sales at the lighting manufacturing equipment maker fell sharply.
Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 came in at $73.2 million, a 31.5 percent decline from the prior year's quarter, amid weak demand for the company's metal organic chemical vapor deposition gear used in making light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
After a spike in demand for LED equipment that drove Veeco's stock north of $50 in 2011, the company has suffered from a saturated market.
In a conference call chief executive John Peeler said business conditions remain difficult, but he added some trends are beginning to work in Veeco's favor, as customers' LED factories operate near full capacity and global demand for LED lighting increases.
"It's good to see supply and demand come back into alignment," he said. "We're in a great position to capture the next wave of MOCVD growth," he said, referring to the company's metal organic chemical vapor deposition machines.
The consensus fourth quarter forecast of analysts polled by Bloomberg had called for sales of $69.98 million and earnings per share of 41 cents.
The Plainview company also manufactures equipment used by makers of computer hard drives and flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).
Peeler said that in the fourth quarter one customer ordered a prototype system for making flexible OLED phones, a potential growth area for the company.
Shares of Veeco fell 1.34 percent Wednesday to close at $40.58 before the company released its earnings report. But shares rose 3.50 percent to $42 in aftermarket trading.
Veeco forecast first quarter 2014 revenue of $85 million to $95 million but did not offer net income numbers.