Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) announced today a strategic and capital allocation framework designed to return more than $10 billion to shareholders through 2019, and also reported results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2015.
Wendell P. Weeks, chairman, chief executive officer and president, said, “Corning is announcing a strategic and capital allocation plan that reflects the financial and operational strengths of our company, as well as our ongoing commitment to capital stewardship. Through 2019, we expect to deploy more than $20 billion by returning greater than $10 billion to shareholders, and by investing approximately $10 billion in opportunities to grow and sustain our leadership positions.”
As a first step to delivering the plan, Corning’s Board of Directors increased the company’s share repurchase authorization by $4 billion. The company also announced plans to commence a $1.25 billion accelerated share repurchase program during the fourth quarter. Additionally, the company anticipates increasing its dividend per common share by at least 10% annually through 2019.
Overview of Strategic and Capital Allocation Plan
Corning plans to deploy over $20 billion of capital through 2019 with the majority expected to come from operating cash flow. The strategic and capital allocation plan consists of two primary actions:
- Return more than $10 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and increased dividends. As part of this plan, Corning intends to target an adjusted debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 2, and to reduce its global cash to approximately $2 billion.
- Invest approximately $10 billion in Corning’s focused portfolio. Over the next four years, Corning will concentrate its RD&E investment, capital spending, and strategic M&A on a cohesive set of three core technologies, four manufacturing and engineering platforms, and five market-access platforms. Corning, already a leader in these areas, believes its focused-portfolio approach will allow it to generate substantial growth and returns for investors.
Corning will discuss its strategic and capital allocation plans as part of its third-quarter conference call at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) today, the details for which follow below.
Third-Quarter 2015 Performance
Corning reported core sales of $2.45 billion* and core earnings per share of $0.34*, compared with $2.58 billion* and $0.37 per share*, respectively, in the third quarter of 2014. Net sales (GAAP) for the third quarter were $2.27 billion and GAAP earnings per share were $0.15.
Third-Quarter 2015 Financial Comparisons
(In millions, except percentages and per-share amounts)
|Q3 2015||Q3 2014||% Change|
|Core Net Sales||$2,451||$2,583||(5%)|
|Q3 2015||Q3 2014||% Change|
*These are non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP measures is provided in the tables following this news release, as well as on the company’s website. Core performance metrics (non-GAAP) are adjusted to exclude the impact of changes in Japanese yen foreign exchange rate, as well as other items that do not reflect ongoing operations of the company. See “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section of attached Form 8-K for details on core performance measures.
“The weakening global economy, particularly in China, and the stronger U.S. dollar impacted all of our businesses,” R. Tony Tripeny, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said. “We are pleased with the improving pricing environment for LCD glass, and the strong industry acceptance of Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4, which is growing faster than we anticipated.”
- Display Technologies: Core sales in the third quarter were $936 million*, an 11% decrease from $1,053 million* in the comparable period a year ago. Sequential LCD glass volume declined slightly, and sequential LCD glass price declines remained moderate, as expected. Core earnings in the third quarter were $257 million*, a 15% decrease from $304 million* in the comparable period a year ago.
- Optical Communications: Sales in the third quarter were $747 million, a 7% increase from $698 million for the comparable period a year ago. Core earnings in the third quarter were $71 million*, a slight increase from $70 million* in the comparable period a year ago.
- Environmental Technologies: Sales in the third quarter were $257 million, a 9% decrease from $282 million in the comparable period a year ago. Core earnings in the third quarter were $38 million*, a 33% decrease from $57 million* in the comparable period a year ago.
- Specialty Materials: Sales in the third quarter were $288 million, a 12% decrease from $327 million for the comparable period a year ago. Core earnings in the third quarter were $44 million*, a 17% decrease from $53 million* in the comparable period a year ago.
- Life Sciences: Sales in the third quarter were $211 million, a 1% decrease from $214 million for the comparable period a year ago. Core earnings in the third quarter were $21 million*, a 5% decrease from $22 million* in the comparable period a year ago.
- Core equity earnings from Dow Corning Corporation were $53 million*, a $15 million, or 22%, decrease from the comparable period a year ago.
“We expect global economic headwinds to persist in the fourth quarter,” Tripeny said, “but we are encouraged by longer-term industry trends. We are pleased that the LCD glass pricing environment has been improving for more than a year, and we expect this to continue in the fourth quarter. Consumers want larger flat panel displays and TV screens, which should drive overall glass volume growth. Bandwidth demand continues to grow, enabling our Optical Communications segment to deliver an expected 10% sales increase this year.”
Corning provided the following expectations for its business segments in the fourth quarter of 2015:
- Display Technologies: Corning expects its fourth-quarter LCD glass volume to be down slightly sequentially. Corning’s LCD glass price declines are expected to decline less in the fourth quarter than in the third quarter.
- Optical Communications: Corning expects fourth-quarter sales to increase by a low-to-mid-single-digit percentage rate over its sales in the comparable period a year ago.
- Specialty Materials: Fourth-quarter sales are expected to decline at a low-teens percentage rate on a year-over-year basis.
- Environmental Technologies and Life Sciences: Sales of both business segments are expected to decline at a mid-single-digit percentage rate in the fourth quarter versus a year ago.
- Core equity earnings from Dow Corning Corporation are expected to be approximately $80 million*.
Upcoming Investor Events
Corning plans to meet with investors in November and is scheduled to present at the UBS Global Technology and Services Conference on Nov. 17 in San Francisco and Credit Suisse Technology Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Dec. 1.
Third-Quarter Conference Call Information
The company will host a third-quarter conference call at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, Oct. 27. To participate, please call toll free (800) 230-1085; or for international access call (612) 332-0107 approximately 10-15 minutes prior to the start of the call. The host is “NICHOLSON”. To listen to a live audio webcast of the call, go to Corning’s website at www.corning.com/investor_relations, click on “Events” and follow the instructions. A replay will be available beginning at 11 a.m. (EDT) and will run through 5 p.m. (EST), Tuesday, Nov. 10. To listen, dial (800) 475-6701, or for international access dial (320) 365-3844. The access code is 370570. The webcast will be archived for one year following the call.
Presentation of Information in this News Release
Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP. Corning’s non-GAAP financial measures exclude the impact of items that are driven by general economic conditions and events that do not reflect the underlying fundamentals and trends in the company’s operations. The company believes presenting non-GAAP financial measures assists in analyzing financial performance without the impact of items that may obscure trends in the company’s underlying performance. Detailed reconciliations outlining the differences between these non-GAAP measures and the most directly comparable GAAP measure can be found on the company’s website by going to www.corning.com/investor_relations and clicking “Financial Reports” on the left. These reconciliations also accompany this news release.
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995), which are based on current expectations and assumptions about Corning’s financial results and business operations, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include: the effect of global political, economic and business conditions; conditions in the financial and credit markets; currency fluctuations; tax rates; product demand and industry capacity; competition; reliance on a concentrated customer base; manufacturing efficiencies; cost reductions; availability of critical components and materials; new product commercialization; pricing fluctuations and changes in the mix of sales between premium and non-premium products; new plant start-up or restructuring costs; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity, armed conflict, political or financial instability, natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, or major health concerns; adequacy of insurance; equity company activities; acquisition and divestiture activities; the level of excess or obsolete inventory; the rate of technology change; the ability to enforce patents; product and components performance issues; retention of key personnel; stock price fluctuations; and adverse litigation or regulatory developments. These and other risk factors are detailed in Corning’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the day that they are made, and Corning undertakes no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in R&D, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges. Corning’s businesses and markets are constantly evolving. Today, Corning’s products enable diverse industries such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, transportation, and life sciences. They include damage-resistant cover glass for smartphones and tablets; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for high-speed communications networks; trusted products that accelerate drug discovery and manufacturing; and emissions-control products for cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles.
Digital Media Disclosure
In accordance with guidance provided by the SEC regarding the use of company websites and social media channels to disclose material information, Corning Incorporated (“Corning”) wishes to notify investors, media, and other interested parties that it intends to use its website (http://www.corning.com/worldwide/en/about-us/news-events.html) to publish important information about the company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. The list of websites and social media channels that the company uses may be updated on Corning’s media and website from time to time. Corning encourages investors, media, and other interested parties to review the information Corning may publish through its website and social media channels as described above, in addition to the company’s SEC filings, press releases, conference calls, and webcasts.