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Veeco quarterly earnings plunge 72 percent

Plainview-based Veeco, which makes equipment used to produce

Plainview-based Veeco, which makes equipment used to produce LED lighting for a variety of products including flat-panel TVs, cellphones and street lamps, had expected weaker sales in the first quarter. Credit: Chris Ware

Veeco Instruments Inc., one of Long Island's largest technology companies, reported Monday that first-quarter earnings plummeted 72 percent from a year earlier on a 45 percent decline in revenue.

Plainview-based Veeco, which makes equipment used to produce LED lighting for a variety of products including flat-panel TVs, cellphones and street lamps, had expected weaker sales in the first quarter. Veeco grew to nearly $1 billion in revenues in 2011, powered by demand from China, but a recent slowdown in orders from that country has hurt results.

After the close of stock market trading, the company said its net income dropped to $16.5 million, from $58 million a year ago. Revenue slid to $139.9 million, from $254.7 million. Earnings per share dropped 69 percent to 42 cents a share, from $1.36.

Shares rose 13.95 percent in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, to $34.40, as the company's earnings beat Wall Street expectations. The shares are still well below their 52-week high of $57.67 reached on May 31.

"As anticipated, we experienced a weak booking environment in Q1," said John R. Peeler, Veeco's chief executive. He lauded the company's "solid profitability in a tough year."

Veeco is forecasting second-quarter revenue of $120 million to $145 million. And it expects per-share earnings of 20 cents to 40 cents a share.

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