Semiconductor company Cree Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) has reported net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 of $3.88 million, or 5 cents per share, compared to a GAAP loss of $22.52 million, or 31 cents per share, reported for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002.

Net income for the comparable year ago period was $6.46 million, or 9 cents per share.

Durham-based Cree says LED shipments increased more than 50 percent, sequentially, to record levels and average sales prices increased slightly over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002.

Cree reported revenue of $48.81 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2003, which represents a 29 percent increase, sequentially, over the company’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2002 revenue of $37.8 million and a 13 percent increase over the comparable year ago period revenue of $43.17 million.

“We are extremely pleased with our results and ability to exceed both our revenue target and consensus earnings estimates,” Chuck Swoboda, president and chief executive officer of Cree, said in a statement. “We have continued to experience increased demand for our LED products fueled by new design wins in a number of applications including cell phones. Our challenge has shifted to managing our capacity expansion to fulfill increased customer demand requirements and we are targeting LED sales to be above record levels set in the first quarter.”