DURHAM – Cree Inc. (CREE) on Tuesday reported a loss of $147.6 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, and its stock fell more than 6% in after-hours trading. But CEO Greg Lowe found grounds for optimism.

“We delivered strong revenue during the quarter, as customers are ramping up production earlier and steeper than originally anticipated. We continued to grow and convert opportunities in our device pipeline, further establishing our industry leadership position in silicon carbide,” Lowe said in a statement.

“We are on track to bring the world’s largest silicon carbide fab online in early calendar 2022, which uniquely positions us to capitalize
on what we believe to be a multi-decade growth opportunity ahead,” he added, referring to a plant being built in New York state.

Investors, however, sent Cree shares tumbling as soon as the earnings and reven ue forecast were disclosed. The stock fell nearly $6 from Tuesday’s closing price of $86.25.

On a per-share basis, the Durham-based semiconductor company said it had a loss of $1.28. Losses, adjusted for non-recurring costs and pretax expenses, were 23 cents per share.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 25 cents per share.

Cree posted revenue of $145.8 million in the period, also exceeding Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $145.4 million.

For the year, the company reported that its loss widened to $523.9 million, or $4.66 per share. Revenue was reported as $525.6 million.

For the current quarter ending in October, Cree expects its results to range from a loss of 25 cents per share to a loss of 21 cents per share.

The company said it expects revenue in the range of $144 million to $154 million for the fiscal first quarter. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $155.7 million.

Cree shares have decreased 19% since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $86.25, a rise of 19% in the last 12 months.

Read the full earnings report online.