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Veeco Instruments Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-K)

February 24, 2011 | About:

Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO) filed Annual Report for the period ended 2010-12-31.

Veeco Instruments Inc. has a market cap of $1.88 billion; its shares were traded at around $47.04 with a P/E ratio of 10.7 and P/S ratio of 2. Hedge Fund Gurus that owns VECO: Joel Greenblatt of Gotham Capital, Bruce Kovner of Caxton Associates, John Paulson of Paulson & Co., George Soros of Soros Fund Management LLC, Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors. Mutual Fund and Other Gurus that owns VECO: Ronald Muhlenkamp of Muhlenkamp Fund, Pioneer Investments, Murray Stahl of Horizon Asset Management, Mario Gabelli of GAMCO Investors.

Highlight of Business Operations:

We believe that the HB LED market, while cyclical, represents a high-growth opportunity for us due to the expanding applications for HB LEDs, such as backlighting for large screen flat panel TVs (LCDliquid crystal displays), laptop computers, automotive applications, and general illumination. In 2009 and 2010 the LED industry experienced significant growth as LEDs penetrated laptop and television backlighting applications. Strategies Unlimited, an LED industry research organization, forecasted in its June 2010 report that growth in these applications will continue, resulting in a compound annual growth rate ("CAGR") exceeding 80% from 2009 through 2014. LEDs are also starting to experience increased adoption for general lighting, with Strategies Unlimited forecasting a CAGR of 45.4% during that same time period. Overall, the market for HB LEDs is expected to grow from $5.4 billion in 2009 to $19.6 billion in 2014, for a CAGR of 29.5%.

Since PV manufacturers often build their own equipment, there is a market opportunity emerging for equipment suppliers such as Veeco. In its October 2010 report, GTM forecasted that CIGS global module capacity will have a CAGR of 49% from 2010 to 2013 with capacity reaching 3.4GW in 2013. We plan to expand our deposition product line to create "best of breed" deposition systems that can deposit materials on flexible (stainless steel) or rigid (glass) substrates. Today Veeco supplies thermal evaporation components to over 50% of CIGS companies worldwide and has begun to penetrate CIGS customers with our deposition system solutions. We are shipping our FastFlex Web Coating Systems for the front and back contact and absorber layer CIGS deposition. These new systems are capable of processing up to 1m web widths that will enable PV manufacturers to continue lowering their cost of ownership. We intend to increase our research and development spending in CIGS technology for both the rigid and flexible substrate market since we believe it offers a significant growth opportunity over the next several years.

We sell our products and services worldwide through various strategically located sales and service facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific, and we believe that our customer service organization is a significant factor in our success. We provide service and support on a warranty, service contract or an individual service-call basis. We offer enhanced warranty coverage and services, including preventative maintenance plans, on-call and on-site service plans and other comprehensive service arrangements, product and application training, consultation services, and a 24-hour hotline service for certain products. We believe that offering timely support creates stronger relationships with customers and provides us with a significant competitive advantage. Revenues from the sale of parts, service and support represented approximately 7%, 16% and 21% of our net sales for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008, respectively. Parts sales represented approximately 5%, 9% and 14% of our net sales for those years, respectively, and service and support sales were 2%, 7% and 7%, respectively.

We sell our products to many of the world's major HB LED, solar and hard drive manufacturers as well as to customers in other industries, research centers, and universities. We rely on certain principal customers for a significant portion of our sales. Sales to LG Innotek Co. Ltd. and Seoul OptoDevice Co. Ltd. each accounted for more than 10% of Veeco's total net sales in 2010, LG Innotek Co. Ltd. and Seagate Technology, Inc. each accounted more than 10% of Veeco's total net sales in 2009 and sales to Seagate Technology, Inc. accounted for 10% or more of Veeco's total net sales in 2008. If any principal customer discontinues its relationship with us or suffers economic difficulties, our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results could be materially and adversely affected.

Our research and development expenses were approximately $71.4 million, $43.5 million and $39.6 million, or approximately 8%, 15% and 13% of net sales for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008, respectively. These expenses consisted primarily of salaries, project material and other product development and enhancement costs.

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About the author:

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Rating: 2.8/5 (5 votes)


ColnatecCTO - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
Veeco would be well served by speaking to our young company, Colnatec, in Gilbert, Az. We make the next generation of process tools that will control these CIGS and OLED flexible thin film deposition lines. The entire success of these lines depends on a miniature quartz sensor that measures the thickness of these atomic level layers. Its kind of like a combustion sensor in an automobile. Efficiency is everything in this business.

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