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Veeco Instruments loss widens, revenue dips in third quarter

Electrical engineering manager Ramon Garcia simulates working on

Electrical engineering manager Ramon Garcia simulates working on an ion beam etching system at Veeco in Plainview on Feb. 23, 2012. Photo Credit: Chris Ware

Veeco Instruments Inc. Wednesday reported a wider loss and lower sales for its third quarter.

After the stock market close, the Plainview company posted a net loss of $14 million, or 35 cents per share, versus $6 million or 16 cents per share in the 2013 quarter. Its revenue of $93.3 million declined 6 percent from the year-ago period, despite higher revenue from tools used to manufacture lasers, light-emitting diodes and solar cells.

Veeco shares fell 4.4 percent to $30.85 Wednesday, but gained 1.8 percent to $31.40 in after-hours trading.

Veeco makes metal organic chemical vapor phase deposition (MOCVD) tools for growing crystalline layers on semiconductor wafers that are used in LED manufacturing. The company also makes tools used in making computer data storage equipment.

"Third quarter 2014 orders were $107 million, higher than the second quarter of 2014," CEO John Peeler said in a statement. "LED and solar orders totaled $93 million, the highest level since the third quarter of 2011, driven by an 8 percent increase in MOCVD."

Orders for computer data storage equipment "remained weak," Peeler added.

Veeco forecast fourth-quarter revenue of $100 million to $115 million and a loss per share between 13 and 25 cents.

In a conference call, Peeler said the latest iPhones from Apple and ultra high-definition televisions would stimulate demand for LED equipment.

Veeco also is delivering equipment for the emerging market of organic light emitting diodes. Peeler said the OLED market could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and holds the potential for "truly foldable mobile phones."

In a research note previewing Veeco's earnings, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. analyst Patrick Ho said demand for Veeco's tools was likely to pick up momentum in 2015.

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