Investors sold off Cree shares after the markets closed Tuesday following news that the LED and semiconductor firm reported revenues that tumbled 8 percent from a year ago.
Shares fell 7 percent to $21.23 from Tuesday’s close in the first hour of after-hours trading. By 6 p.m., shares were down 9 percent.
Revenues did beat Wall Street analysts’ expectations at $358.9 million – nearly $9 million higher than expected.
Cree also reported a profit of 4 cents after one-time expenses and expectations. Analysts had expected a 5 cent profit.
Chuck Swoboda, the company’s chair and CEO, put a positive spin on the results.
“We made progress in Q4, with good results in each business and non-GAAP earnings per share that were in the middle of our target range,” Swoboda said in a statement. “We built a solid foundation for growth in all three businesses over the last year. In the near term, we will have some incremental spending to expand capacity and are excited about the opportunity for Cree to grow revenue and profits in the year ahead.”
In May, Swoboda announced plans to leave Cree. No replacement has been named.
In a conference call with analysts, Swoboda said the company would move to expand capacity of its Wolfspeed power subsidiary, which he tried to sell last year. Regulators ended up forcing a cancellation of the $850 million deal in February.
“We made good progress in Q4 as all three businesses were within their target range. Wolfspeed grew 8%, and LEDs grew 9% sequentially from Q3 while commercial lighting sales increased to offset the seasonal decline in consumer sales,” Swoboda told analysts..
“Our Wolfspeed business continues to perform very well despite being capacity constrained. We are fully booked for Q1 and our capacity limited in Q2 with lead times now stretching into fiscal Q3 for Materials, Power and RF.”
Swoboda then talked about expansion for the Durham-based company.
“Our focus is on expanding capacity for all three product lines while closely managing execution to optimize output from our existing capacity through yield and process improvements,” he explained.
“We started making significant capital investments last year and are working through the qualification process. We target additional materials capacity to start coming online in our fiscal Q2 with a plan to double wafer capacity for external materials customers by the end of calendar 2018.”
The quarter ending June 30 also wrapped up Cree’s fiscal year. The company lost $98.1 million or $1 a share on revenues of $1.5 billion. That total was down 9 percent year-over-year.
Cree does expect a profit of between 4-6 cents for the current quarter but revenue forecast of between $353-367 million was slightly below analysts’ expectations.