Our Strategy | Investor Relations | Corning

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Our sustained commitment to R&D yields the innovations that give us our competitive advantage-leading to privileged customer relationships, more intelligent products and processes, and our continued growth.

Delivering Value to Shareholders

Delivering Value to Shareholders

In October 2015, Corning announced a Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework that reflects the company’s financial and operational strengths, as well as its ongoing commitment to capital stewardship.

Recognizing the company’s significant progress across multiple fronts, the Framework was updated in June 2016. Corning now expects to generate and deploy more than $26 billion through 2019, up from the previous plan to deploy more than $22 billion.

The Strategic and Capital Allocation Framework consists of two primary actions:

  • Return more than $12.5 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 two times, and to reduce its global cash to approximately $2 billion.
  • Invest approximately $10 billion in Corning’s focused portfolio. Over the four years, Corning will concentrate its RD&E investment, capital spending, and strategic M&A on a cohesive set of 3 core technologies, 4 manufacturing & engineering platforms, and 5 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.

Recent successes include cash distributions, strategic transactions, product introductions, moderating pricing environment in Display, and our advancement of lowest cost manufacturing positions.  

Read more about our recent progress in our second-quarter 2017 press release from July 26, 2017, or listen to our second-quarter 2017 earnings conference call.

Investing in Our Future

Investing in Our Future

The Framework focuses our portfolio on a set of reinforcing capabilities with strong inter-connections.

We are best-in-the-world in 3 Core Technologies, 4 Manufacturing & Engineering Platforms, and 5 Market-Access Platforms. Our probability of success increases as we apply more of these world-class capabilities. Our cost of innovation declines as we reapply talent and leverage our existing assets. Additionally, by combining capabilities, we create higher and more sustainable competitive barriers.

Focusing our portfolio means we direct 80% of our resources to opportunities that use existing capabilities from at least two of our three focus areas.  Few competitors can match our expertise in any one of our focus capabilities, when we combine them, we can create market-leading positions and margins.

The Framework builds on the already high return we receive on our innovation investments. For example, over the last few years, we’ve invested in research and development at double the rate of our peers. On average, they’ve invested 4% of sales while we have invested 8% of sales.  But we have delivered more than two times the operating margin, or 20% versus their 9% average. Said another way, our additional $2 billion investment in RD&E returned an additional $5 billion dollars over a five-year period. That is a huge premium.

Of course, we recognize that Corning is the natural leader for some great opportunities that do not require multiple capabilities. Our framework allows us to apply up to 20% of our resources to these opportunities. However, we know that those initiatives are riskier, so we only pursue them if the potential payoff is exceptional.

Going forward, we will re-apply our talent and leverage our manufacturing and market access platforms, to receive an even higher return.

A Record of Outstanding Industrial Performance

A Record of Outstanding Industrial Performance

Over the past decade, we’ve grown sales, net profit after tax (NPAT), earnings per share (EPS) and operating cash flow at double-digit rates.

We’ve beaten the competition in terms of growth in each of our business segments.

We’ve innovated to achieve the lowest-cost position in key businesses.

We’ve created new-to-the-world products, such as Corning® Gorilla® Glass, Corning® DuraTrap® GC filters, Corning Valor™ Glass, and our customized fiber-to-the-home solutions; used transformative manufacturing platforms; and built strong, trust-based relationships with the world’s leading customers. That process has served us well not only for the last decade of outstanding industrial performance, but for 166 years.

We pursue growth by innovating continuously, at all stages of a product lifecycle. See some of the exciting innovation opportunities currently in development.

Strategic Transactions

Strategic Transactions

Under the Framework, Corning expects to use strategic transactions to help advance our growth.

  • In our Optical Communications business, we have completed three smaller transactions over the past year to gain strategic advantages or strengthen our portfolio:
  • To help support our Automotive glass initiatives, in January 2016, the company announced a joint venture with Saint-Gobain Sekurit to develop, manufacture, and sell lightweight automotive glazing solutions. Read more about that transaction in the news release from January 19, 2016.
  • In June 2015, Corning agreed to purchase Gerresheimer’s pharmaceutical glass tubing business. This transaction enables Corning to bring its precision glass expertise to the pharmaceutical glass packaging market. Read more about the transaction in the news release from June 20, 2015.
  • In June 2016, Corning completed a strategic realignment of our ownership interest in Dow Corning. Corning exchanged its 50% interest in Dow Corning for 100% of a subsidiary that holds an equity interest in Hemlock Semiconductor Group, and approximately $4.8 billion in cash. Dow Chemical Company assumed 100% ownership of Dow Corning. Read more about the company’s announcement of the strategic realignment in the news release on December 11, 2015 and on the completion on the realignment in a news release on June 1, 2016.