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Veeco sales rise, loss shrinks as new product kicks in

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., whose high-tech tools are used by manufacturers of computer hard disk drives and light-emitting diodes, Monday reported higher quarterly revenue and a narrower loss as the company started booking sales from a new device.

Veeco, based in Plainview, shrank its net loss to $8.4 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, from a loss of $15.2 million, or 39 cents per share, in the 2014 quarter. Revenue rose 38 percent from a year earlier to $131.4 million.

John R. Peeler, Veeco's chairman and chief executive, characterized the results as "solid."

He said Veeco's new TurboDisc EPIK 700 systems, used to create semiconductor wafers for LEDs, had been demonstrated to customers and had begun producing revenue at the end of the second quarter.

The EPIK 700 "offers lower cost of ownership for our customers and improved margin contribution for Veeco," Peeler said.

The company issued a forecast for the third quarter calling for revenue of $135 million to $160 million and per-share earnings ranging from a loss of 5 cents to a gain of 19 cents.

In a research note released before Veeco announced its earnings, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. analyst Patrick Ho attributed the Veeco revenue increase in part to an order from San'an Optoelectronics Co. Ltd., a major Chinese maker of LED chips and solar cells.

Still, he said that demand was increasing overall among Chinese LED makers and that Veeco could gain market share amid stumbles by a German rival.

Shares of Veeco slipped 74 cents to $25.03 in after-hours trading after the company released its earnings.

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