Veeco shares fall on analyst's outlook

Veeco mechanical engineer Mathew Levy holds a data

Veeco mechanical engineer Mathew Levy holds a data wafer at a plant in Plainview in 2012. Photo Credit: Chris Ware

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Shares of Veeco Instruments Inc. fell sharply Tuesday after an analyst predicted the Plainview manufacturer would face fallout in the wake of its yearlong accounting review.

Veeco's stock fell 5.61 percent, to $36.01, after an analyst for the New York investment bank Oppenheimer & Co. issued a report saying the company could face a sell-off and lower sales expectations when it releases the review next month. "We expect an earnings correction," said the analyst, Andrew Uerkwitz.

Analysts and investors have had few numbers to crunch for Veeco in the last year. The company, which makes manufacturing equipment for LED lighting, has not released a full earnings report since October 2012, citing the accounting review it launched in November to determine whether revenue was recorded at the proper time.

The company has until Nov. 4 to file its outstanding quarterly reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in order to continue to be traded on the Nasdaq exchange.

Veeco spokeswoman Debra Wasser declined to comment on Uerkwitz's report but said the company planned to finish its review as soon as possible.

"A top priority for Veeco is to get the accounting review completed, to do it well and to get back to being a timely filer again as soon as practical," Wasser said in an email.

In his report, Uerkwitz said he expected Veeco to meet the Nov. 4 deadline and that the company was positioned to capture market share in the next 12 to 18 months.

Revenues at the company have fallen precipitously in the last year after peaking at nearly $1 billion in 2011. That boom stemmed mostly from sales in China, where government subsidies caused LED manufacturers to build aggressively. But the Chinese market for LED equipment became saturated, and demand has been falling since.

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