UPDATE 4-GE, Cree deny LED supply deal, Cree shares slide

Tue May 24, 2011 1:50pm EDT

* "We have not made a decision," GE spokeswoman says

* Analyst had reported Cree picked to supply GE

* Cree shares reverse early gains, down 1.4 pct (Adds Cree comment, updates share movement)

BOSTON, May 24 (Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) and Cree Inc (CREE.O) denied on Tuesday that the largest U.S. conglomerate has selected the lighting manufacturer to supply GE light-emitting diodes, disputing an analyst's assertion.

Cree shares, which had risen as much as 5 percent in early trading after a Canaccord Genuity analyst note reported that the company had won a GE contract, reversed course and turned negative after the denial.

"There is no basis for this rumor. We have not made a decision," said Kim Freeman, a spokeswoman for GE's appliance and lighting unit.

Cree spokeswoman Erin Grohs also denied that any deal had been reached.

Officials at Canaccord did not respond to requests for comment.

Cree shares, which traded as high as $43.61 on that report, eased to $40.98 by early afternoon trading, down about 1.4 percent on Nasdaq.

The Durham, North Carolina-based company had been a darling of Wall Street in recent years but over the past few quarters has struggled with stiff competition that has driven down pricing and kept inventories high.

Over the past year, its shares have fallen almost 38 percent, at a time when the Standard & Poor's 500 index .SPX has risen 21 percent.

Light-emitting diodes are used in products from televisions to lamps for homes and offices. They use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and compact florescent fixtures. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Tim Dobbyn)

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