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Corning Tops Estimates, Surges on Earnings Beat

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Corning (NYSE: GLW) reports a better-than-expected fourth quarter, driving market enthusiasm in its favor.

The Corning, New York manufacturer reports a fourth quarter EPS of $0.34, narrowly topping analysts' expectations of $0.32.

Revenues came in high, as well, at $2.15 billion. Analyst consensus was at $2.07 billion.

The quarter was Corning's best to date in terms of sales. Sales were boosted by a 68 percent increase in the specialty materials segment, driven by the company's Gorilla ® Glass product. The company sold over $1 billion worth of Gorilla ® Glass during the year.

Telecommunications sales were also up big, closing at a 10 percent gain year-over-year. The company's life sciences segment saw a 29 percent increase, as well.

Total annual sales were $8.01 billion - a two percent gain from last year's $7.9 billion. This represented a sales record, as well.

2013 Sales Forecast

CFO James B. Flaws will provide details on Corning's 2013 outlook at the company's annual investor relations meeting on February 8. He is expected to announce that first-quarter total glass volume from Corning's wholly owned display business and Samsung Corning Precision Materials will increase on a year-over-year basis, but will decline sequentially by mid-single digits.

Flaws is also expected to announce that the company's telecommunications and life sciences segments will perform well this year. Importantly, expect to hear that Gorilla ® Glass will reach double-digit growth in 2013.

Meanwhile, Flaws will announce that the specialty materials and life sciences segments are expected to decline during the first quarter.

Problems Ahead?

Corning sees two major problems that could plague its performance in 2013: unfavorable conditions in the solar industry and the valuation of the Japanese yen.

According to Flaws, “The current unfavorable solar industry conditions are expected to continue for Dow Corning's subsidiary, Hemlock Semiconductor Group, and could worsen if trade rulings on the importation of solar polysilicon into China are negative. These problems are likely to impact Corning's equity earnings for the year.”

In terms of the yen, Flaws notes, “While beyond our control, the recent sharp depreciation of the yen could negatively impact our reported net earnings if the present level holds or the currency depreciates further in 2013.”

Market Reaction

Investors have reacted favorably to Corning's successful earnings results. At a pre-market price of $12.70, it was at its highest point in the past three weeks.

Thus far, Corning is up over one percent on Tuesday.

Posted-In: Gorilla Glass James B. Flaws SamsungEarnings News Management Best of Benzinga

 

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