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Veeco Instruments net loss narrows despite lower revenue

Veeco Instruments Inc. John R. Peeler, seen in

Veeco Instruments Inc. John R. Peeler, seen in his Plainview facility July 18, 2012, said Wednesday, May 4, 2016, that demand for tools to manufacture LEDs remains weak. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Veeco Instruments Inc., whose tools are used to manufacture light-emitting diodes and computer hard disk drives, Wednesday posted a narrower first quarter loss despite lower revenue.

The Plainview company reported a diluted per share loss of 40 cents compared to 48 cents in the year-ago period. Overall net loss was $15.5 million on revenue of $78 million, compared to a loss of $19.1 million on sales of $98.3 million in the 2015 quarter.

John R. Peeler, chairman and chief executive, said that demand for tools to manufacture LEDs remains weak.

“As we navigate this challenging environment, we are assessing our cost structure to align with the current business outlook while positioning the company for future growth,” he said.

Veeco reduced its operating expense to $47 million in the quarter, from about $51 million in the year-earlier period. Its income tax expense dropped to $528,000 from $3.4 million a year earlier.

Veeco forecast second quarter revenue of $70 million to $83 million and a per share loss of 44 cents to 59 cents.

Veeco reported its earnings after the close of regular trading. Its shares were unchanged in after-hours trading Wednesday at $17.19. The shares are down about 42 percent in the past 12 months.

In a research note previewing Veeco’s earnings, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company analyst Patrick Ho said that in light of the depressed market for Veeco’s core products, the company is likely to seek acquisitions to let it diversify into new markets.

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