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Cree Surges on Higher Forecast After Announcing Sub-$10 Bulb

Cree Inc. (CREE), the North Carolina-based maker of energy-efficient lighting products, rose to a two-year high after increasing its forecast and introducing an LED bulb that sells for less than $10 at Home Depot Inc. (HD) stores.

Cree advanced 14 percent to $51.16 in New York, the highest close since March 3, 2011.

The company’s 40-watt replacement light-emitting diode bulb is available for $9.97, below the “$10 price barrier” that may motivate consumers to shift from standard incandescent bulbs, Cree said in a statement today.

“We believe this breakthrough LED bulb will, for the first time, give consumers a reason to upgrade the billions of energy- wasting light bulbs,” Chuck Swoboda, chief executive officer of Durham, North Carolina-based Cree, said in the statement. It also introduced a 60-watt version for $12.97 and a 60-watt daylight product for $13.97.

Cree said revenue for the fiscal third quarter ending March 31 will be $335 million to $350 million, up from a January forecast of $325 million to $345 million. The average estimate of 25 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was $336 million.

The company also raised its earnings target to 31 cents to 36 cents a share, from 30 cents to 35 cents, compared with the 33-cent average estimate.

LED bulbs use less power and last longer than incandescent lights and typically cost more. As prices for LEDs fall, consumers will be more willing to switch, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Doom in New York at jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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