Shares in light emitting diode maker (Nasdaq: CREE) jumped more than 9 percent to a 52-week high Tuesday after the company boosted its earnings and revenue forecasts.

In trading Wednesday, the upward trend continued as buyers drove Cree to $31.36. Shares opened Tuesday at $26.58.

By Wednesday afternoon, the stock fell back a bit to $30.04.

After the markets closed Tuesday, Cree said “strong booking trends” led it to up sales and profit forecasts for its quarter that ends June 28. Cree now expects a profit of between 7 cents and 9 cents per share with revenues climbing to between $143 million and $150 million. If one-time expenses are eliminated, the profit could be as 17 cents.

Cree had earlier forecast a 5-7 cent profit on revenues of $137 million to $142 million.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts were forecasting a profit of 14 cents, excluding one-time items, and revenues of just over $139 million.

The upbeat news sparked a 9.3 percent, or $2.58, jump in Cree shares to $30.35. That’s 98 cents higher than the previous 52-week high. Its 52-week low is $12.59.

During the normal trading day Tuesday, Cree shares advanced 4.5 percent, or $1.19, to $27.77.

Cree has been targeting the LED sector, especially in commercial and residential lighting, offering products and fixtures that it says are more economical and longer lasting than traditional lighting.

"We are pleased with the strong booking trends for Q4," Cree Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Swoboda said in a statement. "We also remain optimistic about the growth potential for LED lighting in fiscal 2010, although there is some near term execution risk as we ramp up production to meet these higher targets."

In its forecast, Cree cited several reasons for its change in projections:

• “The targeted revenue range is higher than previously announced primarily due to stronger LED component bookings for lighting-related applications, as well as higher LED chip bookings for notebook backlighting.
• “Gross margin for the quarter is targeted to be at the higher end of previously targeted levels.
• “Operating expenses are targeted to be approximately $46 million.”