Cree's Net Falls

The chipmaker edges by analyst estimates, but profit is down 39%.
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Cree (CREE) - Get Report said Thursday that its first-quarter earnings slid about 39% from the year-ago period, as expenses hit gross margins and operating margins.

The semiconductor maker earned $13.3 million, or 17 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with $21.7 million, or 28 cents a share, last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 16 cents a share, including options costs.

First-quarter revenue rose about 1% from the year-ago period to $103.9 million. Analysts' expectations were for $103.96 million.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2007, Cree sees earnings of 14 cents to 17 cents a share, excluding amortization of acquisition-related intangibles resulting from the purchase of Intrinsic Semiconductor, on revenue of $105 million to $109 million. Analysts forecast earnings of 16 cents a share and revenue of $107.24 million.

"While short-term market conditions remain challenging, we continue to make outstanding progress towards our goal of enabling LEDs to become a cost-effective, energy-saving alternative for lighting applications," said the company. "Looking forward, we are on track with our strategy to broaden our product lines into higher- value components for the tremendous markets in lighting and power."

The company's shares were trading up $1.56, or 7.1%, to $23.65 in after-hours activity Thursday.

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