Cree Earnings Slide

Numbes below consensus.
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second-quarter earnings slid 29% from a year ago as the company recorded writeoffs and an expense for stock options.

The semiconductor maker earned $17.7 million, or 23 cents a share, in the quarter, including a writedown of $2.3 million, or 3 cents a share, related to the closure of its silicon microwave business, and an expense of $2.4 million, or 3 cents a share, related to stock options. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 25 cents a share.

Cree earned $25 million, or 32 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Total revenue was $105.6 million in the latest quarter compared with $96.1 million a year ago. Analysts were forecasting $108.7 million in the latest period.

For its third quarter of fiscal 2006, Cree sees earnings of 25 cents to 27 cents a share, including stock options expenses of 3 cents a share, revenue of $105 million to $110 million. According to Thomson First Call, analyst were forecasting earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $108.7 million.

Commenting on the second quarter results, Chuck Swoboda, Cree Chairman and CEO said "We are pleased that our XLamp strategy is gaining momentum and that we are winning new business. We are well positioned to grow our LED business, driven by the increasing contribution from XLamp products and our strategy to increase white market share for LCD backlights."

The stock fell $1.85, or 6.5%, to $26.78 early Friday.

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