DURHAM –Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) posted higher revenues and net income in the third quarter on stronger demand for its light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Cree’s revenue rose 28 percent to $77.11 million, compared to the same period in the previous year. Net income for the third of $15.08 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, was 42 percent higher compared to $10.63 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter in fiscal 2003, the company said.

“Cree delivered excellent revenue and earnings in the quarter led by continued strong demand for our LEDs,” said Chuck Swoboda, CEO of Cree. “Our decision to invest aggressively in R&D is paying off as new high brightness products are driving the growth of our business. We have good visibility for Q4, which allows us to target a strong finish to the fiscal year and puts us in a good position to build on this momentum in 2005.”

The Durham-based semiconductor maker said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to come in the range of $83 million to $85 million, with earnings per share to be between 20 cents to 22 cents.

Shares CREE rose to $22.96 in after-hours trading following the earnings release, up from the day’s close of $21.60, which was down slightly from yesterday.

Cree: www.cree.com