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Veeco Instruments reports sharply higher 4Q revenue

A mechanical engineer holds a data wafer near

A mechanical engineer holds a data wafer near the NEXUS 420si ion beam etching system at Veeco in Plainview, Feb. 23, 2012. Credit: Chris Ware

Veeco Instruments Inc., a manufacturer of equipment used to produce solid-state lighting and semiconductor devices, reported sharply higher fourth quarter revenue of $143.4 million after the stock market closed Monday.

The Plainview company posted a 53.2 percent increase in revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31, but a slightly wider net loss of $5.6 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, compared to $5 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, in the prior year’s period.

Shares of Veeco gained 6.3 percent to $16.05 in after-hours trading Monday following the release of the earnings report.

Contributing to the sharply higher revenue was Veeco’s acquisition of San Jose, California-based Ultratech Inc. in February 2017 for $815 million. Ultratech makes lithography, laser-processing and inspection systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices and light-emitting diodes.

John R. Peeler, Veeco’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that the company expects “to grow in all of our target markets” entering 2018.

The company forecast first quarter revenue of $140 million to $165 million and a per share loss of 50 cents to 32 cents.

Last week Veeco settled intellectual property court battles with Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. in the Fujian High Court in China, and with SGL Carbon SE, before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.

That settlement removed what Stifel Financial Corp. analyst Patrick Ho called a “significant overhang” from the company’s stock.

“We are back to normal operations,” Peeler said, referring to the settlement.

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