NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of SemiLEDs (LEDS - Get Report) sank in late trades on Thursday after the Taiwan-based LED chip maker reported a much wider than expected quarterly loss as revenue fell more than 40% year-over-year.
The company cited pricing pressure and weak demand for the shortfall. SemiLEDs posted an adjusted loss of $4.3 million, or 16 cents a share, for the three months ended on May 31, down sharply from a year-ago equivalent profit of $3.3 million, or 9 cents a share. Revenue dropped 43% to $5.6 million in the quarter from $9.9 million last year.
The average estimate of seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a loss of 6 cents a share in the May quarter on revenue of $6.3 million.
The stock was last quoted at $5.40, down 12.9%, on volume of nearly 40,000, according to Nasdaq.com. Based on a regular session close at $6.20, the shares were already down more than 70% so far in 2011.For its fiscal fourth quarter ending in August, SemiLEDs forecast a loss ranging from $6.4 million to $6.7 million, or 23 to 25 cents a share, with negative gross margins and revenue of between $5.5 million and $6.5 million. Wall Street was expecting a loss of 2 cents a share in the August quarter on revenue of $8.7 million. Of the seven analysts covering the stock, four had either hold (3) or underperform (1) ratings. Jefferies, an underwriter of the company's December 2010 initial public offering, finally joined the bear camp earlier Thursday, downgrading the stock to hold from buy, and lowering the 12-month price target to $6 from $15, citing stiff competition and a slow recovery in demand for LED chips. The news was weighing on Cree (CREE - Get Report), a prime competitor with SemiLEDS, in the extended session with the stock down 1.7% to $32.90 on volume of more than 200,000.