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Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – Shares in light emitting diode and semiconductor firm (Nasdaq: CREE) fell 7 percent Thursday after the company’s stock was downgraded by a Wall Street analyst.

Cree fell to as low as $56.76 from an opening price of $59.94 based on the remarks made by an analyst at Merriman Curham Ford.

Shares resumed their fall in the afternoon to close at $55.64, down $4.30, or 7.17 percent.

Bill Ong cut Cree to “Neutral” from “Buy.”

Among his concerns: “bookings” that “could lead to near term over capacity that could in turn lead to LED pricing pressure impacting Cree in late 2010.”

Ong also cited Cree’s stock price vs. earnings.

Cree’s stock price reached a 52-week high of $63.95 on Jan. 20 after a strong quarterly earnings report and sales forecasts.

"While we remain bullish on the long term LED adoption cycle, we have near term concerns regarding LED demand and supply imbalance," Ong said, according to The Associated Press.

Over the long term, however, Ong said he is bullish on the LED industry, saying "we are in the early stages of the LED adoption cycle" that started with electronic appliances and is "now extending into municipalities, corporate settings and eventually into residential homes."