Cree Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of LED expert Cree (NAS: CREE) plunged into darkness today, falling as much as 13.5% on heavy trading before bouncing back to a smaller loss.

So what: The company just announced a major acquisition, picking up lighting fixture maker Ruud Lighting for a net cost of $525 million in cash, shares, and beneficial tax effects. With about 40% of a full quarter left to go, the deal adds about $30 million to Cree's first-quarter revenue guidance, cuts gross margins by 1%, and adds $13 million of operating expenses. All told, it puts Cree's earnings projections at the lower end of earlier guidance.

Now what: I don't see why investors are so negative on this deal. Ruud will add to non-GAAP earnings before fiscal 2012 is over, and the tuck-in deal adds muscle to Cree's mass-market lighting ambitions. Except for OLED expert Universal Display (NAS: PANL) , I don't see another company as well-positioned as Cree when the government turns off incandescent bulbs over the next few years. This, my friends, is an astounding buying opportunity.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Universal Display. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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