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Veeco: Bookings down, earnings delayed

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

Veeco Instruments Inc. said bookings were down during the last three months of 2012, but it postponed the release of fourth quarter and yearly earnings until it resolves ongoing accounting problems.

Veeco, which makes manufacturing equipment for LED lighting, said fourth-quarter bookings were down 35 percent from the same period last year, in line with expectations.

The Plainview company began an accounting review in November to determine whether it recorded sales revenue at the proper time.

“Our revenue recognition accounting review is ongoing, and we hope to be able to provide an update on our progress soon Veeco chairman and chief executive John R. Peeler said.

Veeco expected sales to be down significantly in 2012 after climbing to nearly $1 billion in 2011. That boom stemmed primarily from sales in China, where government subsidies caused LED manufactures to build aggressively. But the Chinese market for LED equipment became saturated, and demand dropped sharply.

The company said fourth quarter bookings were in line with expectations, at $92.3 million. It has $579 million in cash on hand, up almost 1 percent from September. 

Peeler said the market for Veeco’s key products remains saturated. “Customers across our markets continue to tightly guard spending and limit capacity expansions, and tight credit policies limit some of our Asian customers’ ability to raise capital and buy more equipment,” he said.

Shares of Veeco fell 5 percent in early afternoon trading to $29.85.

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