Cree Surges After Quarterly Earnings Exceed Estimates

Cree Inc., the North Carolina-based maker of energy-efficient lighting products, surged after quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates.

Cree advanced 22 percent to $40.85 at the close in New York, the most since Jan. 16, 2004. The Durham, North Carolina-based company was the best performer on the Standard & Poor’s Midcap 400 Index today.

“Strong demand from new product launches and a new distributor program helped drive revenue,” Aaron Chew, an analyst with Maxim Group LLC in New York, wrote in a note to investors today. Chew rates the stock a buy and raised his 12-month price target to $40 from $38.

Cree reported quarterly profit that jumped 69 percent as demand for its light-emitting diodes surged, according to a statement released yesterday after the close of regular trading. Net income rose to $20.4 million, or 18 cents a share, from $12.1 million, or 10 cents, a year earlier. That beat the 14.5-cent average of 17 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

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