After spending decades in the semiconductor equipment industry, it’s amazing to see the incredible stock growth of Veeco Instruments. Far surpassing the share price growth of competitors Lam, Novellus, KLA Tencor, and Applied Materials’ this year, Veeco’s stock is up over 700% from a year ago. See chart below.
LEDs are driving this massive improvement in performance of Veeco's share price. Veeco manufactures metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD or CVD) processing tools that are used in the production of light emitting diodes (LEDs). The largest use of LEDs is for the backlighting source for flat screen TVs and computer monitors. Analysts believe that 20% of flat screen TVs sold in 2010 will use LEDs - that’s up from 3% last year- and they expect the share to climb to over 50% by 2012. LED sales continue to outpace other lighting technologies as well. Everything from flashlights to traffic warning signs to household lighting fixtures in China are moving towards LED implementation.
Veeco’s MO CVD sales reflect the massive world-wide demand for LEDs. In the 4th quarter of 2009, it sold 40 chambers and is on target to ship 120 units in the 4th quarter of 2010. This appears to be a well timed strategic marketing plan.
We wish good luck to John Peeler, Veeco’s President, and former head of JDSU’s test division and fellow JDSU alumnus.