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Veeco Instruments posts lower revenue but narrows loss

Mathew Levy, a mechanical engineer, holds a data

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

Veeco Instruments Inc. Thursday posted lower revenue, but a narrowed loss for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

The maker of equipment used to manufacture semiconductors, hard disk drives and light-emitting diodes reported revenue of $93.6 million, a 12.1 percent decline from the 2015 quarter.

But the Plainview company, which has been conducting a cost-cutting campaign, trimmed its net loss nearly in half to $5 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, from $9.8 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter.

In the earnings press release after Thursday’s market close, John Peeler, Veeco’s chairman and chief executive, said that demand for LED equipment is improving.

“Entering 2017, we are seeing healthy LED industry dynamics and positive business momentum,” he said.

The company forecast revenue in the range of $85 million to $100 million for 2017’s first quarter and a net loss of 12 to 28 cents per share.

Shares of Veeco gained 20 cents to close at $26.95 on the Nasdaq Stock Market Thursday, but lost ground in after-hours trading.

Earlier this month, Veeco said it had agreed to purchase Ultratech Inc., a San Jose, California-based maker of lithography, laser-processing and inspection systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices, for $815 million.

Peeler said that deal is “expected to increase our scale, diversify our revenue and provide a stable platform to drive long-term shareholder value.”

That transaction is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

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