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Shares of Veeco jump 8.5% on LED report

Veeco mechanical engineer Mathew Levy holds a data

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

Shares of Veeco Instruments Inc. jumped 8.5 percent Monday after an analyst report said the market for LED manufacturing equipment appeared to have hit bottom and that the company's accounting issues would most likely be resolved in May.

The Plainview company's shares closed at $37.93. They are up 23 percent from one year ago, but down from more than $55 in May 2011.

Veeco has postponed releasing its full fourth-quarter sales figures pending the outcome of an accounting review that began in November to determine whether the company recorded sales revenue at the proper time.

Veeco declined to comment on the analyst report, by Canaccord Genuity of Toronto. The company has not said when its accounting review would be complete.

Veeco's sales slumped last year after climbing to nearly $1 billion in 2011. That boom stemmed primarily from sales in China, where government subsidies caused LED manufacturers to build aggressively.

But the Chinese market for LED equipment became saturated, and demand dropped sharply.

The report by Canaccord predicted sales for LED manufacturing equipment would rise, saying demand for new lighting systems was poised to eclipse the saturated market for the technology's use in flat-screen televisions. The firm doubled its price target for Veeco, to $48 per share.

Mark Miller, an analyst who tracks Veeco for Noble Financial Capital Markets of Boca Raton, Fla., said he agreed Veeco's sales were poised to rise.

But he downplayed Canaccord's expectations for the stock price as "overly aggressive."

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