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Despite revenue, profit gains, Veeco shares fall after forecast cut

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. Credit: Chris Ware

Veeco Instruments Inc., whose tools are used to make LEDs, semiconductors and hard-disk drives, Wednesday posted sharply higher year-over-year revenue for the third quarter but trimmed its forecast for the fourth quarter and the year.

Shares in the Plainview company initially tumbled more than 18 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday, according to the Nasdaq website, before regaining ground to $18.30 at 5:47 p.m., 12.1 percent below $20.82, the price at the close of regular trading Wednesday.

Veeco reported net income of $5.3 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, reversing a loss of $14 million or 35 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue increased 51 percent to $140.7 million versus the 2014 period.

But the company forecast a per-share loss of 19 cents to 38 cents for the fourth quarter and lowered its revenue outlook to $90 million to $110 million. Veeco also cut its revenue guidance for fiscal 2015 to $460 million to $480 million.

John Peeler, chairman and chief executive, said in a conference call that "business conditions deteriorated" at the end of the third quarter as electronics makers delayed buying Veeco's devices to manufacture light-emitting diodes for TV displays.

He said that LED manufacturers are facing "pricing pressures," prompting them to defer orders of Veeco tools.

Veeco's board of directors authorized the repurchase on the open market of up to $100 million in company stock over the next two years.

Peeler said that Veeco's balance sheet gives it the "flexibility to execute share repurchases while continuing to invest" in research and development.

Despite the "industry pause," demand for LED lighting and mobile phones should drive long-term demand for Veeco's tools, Peeler said.

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