Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Watch Out Cree: "General Electric's LED Products to Get Most Lighting Sales in Chipmaker `War'" (GE; CREE)

Bloomberg is on the GE beat this week, yesterday it was "General Electric Takes Aim at First Solar NextGen, Adds CIGS to Solar Offerings:: Will Primestar CdTe Be Phased Out? (GE; FSLR; SI)".

GE acts as if the incandescent ban just 'happened'. Truth be told, they and Dutch lighting (and other stuff) behemoth Phillips basically wrote the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

As far as I can tell GE's highest return on invested capital comes from lobbying, on the order of 1000:1 returns.

From Bloomberg:

General Electric Co.’s lighting unit may draw as much as 75 percent of sales from light-emitting diode products within the next decade, compared with less than 10 percent now, the division’s chief said.
Consumer demand for LED bulbs will increase as prices decline from as much as $75, Michael Petras said in an interview today at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. Rising competition among GE suppliers is helping cut the cost of the chips used in the bulbs, he said.

“The war to sell us chips happens every day,” said Petras, 43. “People are calling us up wanting to sell us more chips at lower prices. We see a significant erosion in chip prices year-over-year.”
U.S. legislation will bring an end to production of the 100-watt incandescent bulb in 2012, prompting consumers to switch to other types including halogen and compact fluorescents. Lower-wattage incandescent bulbs will be phased out later.

Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE’s co-founder, Thomas Edison, invented a commercially practical incandescent bulb in 1879, and the company is the world’s oldest maker of the products. The lighting unit, based in East Cleveland, Ohio, employs about 17,000 workers worldwide with sales of almost $3 billion.
New energy laws are fueling more changes in the industry in the next few years than it’s experienced in the past five decades, Petras said. In the U.S., only 25 percent of the population understands new regulations are coming, he said.

‘Deal With Transformation’
“We are reshaping our lighting business to deal with the transformation,” Petras said....MORE