From loved on Tuesday to rejected on Wednesday – the 24-hour saga of Creek stock.

Wall Street investors definitely didn’t like Cree’s latest financials released on Tuesday – and neither do some analysts. The result: A financial bloodbath Wednesday send Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) shares plunging from a new three-year-high reached just the day before. 

Even as some analysts stood by the stock, sellers far outnumbered buyers, throughout the day. Worries about margins and revenue growth sparked the selloff.

As the markets wound down, Cree shares were off 22 percent at $58.91, a plunge of $16.85. The selling spree wiped out a substantial  of its recent gains. In fact, Cree shares had nearly tripled this year.

Some 22 million shares were traded. The daily average was 1.8 million. 

Shares in the Durham-based company plunged nearly 18 percent, or $13.45, in the opening minutes of trading to $62.31, and fell more than 20 percent minutes later.

At 10:30 a.m., shares traded at $60.63, down $15.13 or 20 percent. In heavy trading, more than 8.7 million shares changed hands.

By 1 p.m., shares had stabilized at $60.94, down 19.6 percent. Trading continued to be heavy, surging past 14.5 million.

Cree reported Tuesday after the markets closed  a $375 million in fiscal fourth quarter 2013 revenue, a 22 percent increase year-over-year increase, but the results still fell shy of analyst estimates.

The news sent Cree shares plunging 16 percent in after-hours trading, shedding more than $11 in price.

At one point, shares fell $11.91 to $63.90.

Earlier Tuesday, Cree shares hit a 52-week – and three-year – high of $76. 

Helping drive down shares Wednesday were a number of negative reports from analysts.

  • DA Davidson cut Cree to neutral from buy and set a share target price of $65, according to Forbes.
  • Susquehanna lowered Cree to neutral from positive.
  • Northland cut Cree to market perform from outperform.

However, Wedbush reiterated its “outperform” rating with a share target price of $78, according to

Also, Sterne Agee kept its buy rating on Cree, saying it expected margins to rebound.

Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Lee also maintained his buy rating. He said margin concerns were  ”overblown,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.

“While Cree failed to beat-and-raise — and this likely weighs on shares — we believe disappointing results were more indicative of growing pains that come with building a new lighting franchise as opposed to any structural slowdown in LED lighting,” the newspaper quoted him as saying in a report..

Also, Jim Cramer at CNBC noted that he thought Cree was having a “great quarter” and at some point would become a buy, The said.

And Needham & Co. remained bullish on the shares, but cut its price target to $74.

Cree also forecast current quarterly revenues would be between $380 million to $400 million, and earnings would range between 36 cents to 41 cents. Both were below analysts’ expectations of  $399 million and 43 cents, according to Forbes. 

The average revenue estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was $377.2 million. Net income for the Durham LED lighting technology company was $28.2 million, or 23 cents per diluted share – a 182 percent increase over net income of $10.0 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2012.

Adjusted for certain charges, Cree earnings worked out to 38 cents per share, matching the estimate of financial analysts according to the data provider FactSet, The Associated Press reported.

For fiscal year 2013, Cree reported $1.39 billion in revenue, a 19 percent increase compared to revenue of $1.16 billion for fiscal 2012. Net income for the fiscal year was $86.9 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, a 96 percent increase compared to fiscal 2012.

“Our fiscal fourth quarter was a strong finish to a great year, with record revenue and good earnings growth in line with our targets,” CEO Chuck Swoboda said in a statement. “Total company backlog is ahead of this point last quarter and we are targeting solid growth in LED lighting in Q1.”