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Plainview LED toolmaker's prospects touted

VEECO equipment for making LEDs.

VEECO equipment for making LEDs. Photo Credit: Handout

A new stock-market investment report predicts continued success for top makers of the machines that produce light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

Among the companies analyzed is Veeco Instruments Inc. of Plainview.

Veeco's potential growth in the LED, data storage and solar markets could be strong, said the analysis, prepared by The Bedford Report.

It estimates "36 percent revenue compound annual growth rate from 2010 to 2015 for packaged LEDs, to $6.3 billion, up from $1.75 billion in 2011."

Veeco's chief executive John Peeler told The Bedford Report that his company "is confident it is in a good position to grow its LED and solar, and data storage businesses this year and beyond. In the most recent quarter Veeco said that its profit more than doubled as improved orders for data storage and its line of LED and solar products helped drive a surge in revenue."

The companies make tools, which cost more than $2 million each, that allow electronic makers to produce backlighting chips, solar panel cells and other light-emitting diode products.

The report's optimism is based, in part, on a worldwide trend toward LED streetlamps, especially in China, where government subsidies have accelerated the trend.

That trend, in turn, is propelled by the high cost of energy and the need to reduce greenhouse gases. The high cost of LEDs had been holding back the public lighting market -- but it's getting cheaper and cheaper to make an LED, due to technological advances.

"Despite near-term headwinds, the LED market remains well positioned for growth," The Bedford Report says, according to a Friday news release. The report looks at Veeco and at its major U.S. competitor, Cree Inc. of Durham, N.C.

"While the 'backlighting' market for LEDs has slowed significantly this year, LEDs are on the verge of overtaking both incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, in terms of use, as governments, businesses and consumers seek to curb emissions."

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