Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller Tony Tripeny will update investors at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., today (3p.m. MST) on the company’s fourth-quarter performance expectations. Highlights of Tripeny’s presentation will include expectations for “stronger-than-forecasted” fourth-quarter LCD glass volume and full-year sales of Corning® Gorilla® Glass approaching $1 billion.
Tripeny will tell investors that stronger-than-expected retail demand for LCD televisions and other consumer electronics devices in North America and China are resulting in an improved view of the LCD glass supply chain. “We now expect glass market volume to be up in the low single digits this quarter, versus our previous expectation of down low-to-mid single digits,” he will say.
“As a result,” Tripeny will say, “Corning’s total LCD glass volume at its wholly owned business and Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., Ltd., should be up in the mid-single digits sequentially.” Tripeny will explain that North American TV sales are stronger than the company expected in the fourth quarter, the Chinese market continues to experience good demand, and the supply chain is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday. He will reaffirm that Corning expects LCD glass price declines in the fourth quarter to be slightly higher than those in the third quarter, a result of the company’s new agreements with key customers.
Looking forward, Tripeny will tell investors, “We expect our share of the LCD glass market to remain stable at quarter four levels as a result of the long-term supply agreements we entered into last quarter, and we anticipate price declines will be moderate in the first quarter.”
Corning Gorilla Glass Strength
Tripeny will also provide upwardly revised expectations for Corning’s Specialty Materials segment and its key driver, Corning Gorilla Glass sales. Fourth-quarter segment sales are expected to increase by about 5% over a record third-quarter performance, driven by numerous new consumer electronics product introductions and increased supply chain demand. “Gorilla Glass sales remain very strong. Our Specialty Materials segment year-over-year sales, driven by the strength of Gorilla Glass, are expected to be up approximately 60% this quarter.”
“We believe Corning Gorilla Glass, now on more than 1 billion devices in the market worldwide, could achieve $1 billion in sales this year,” Tripeny will say.
Tripeny will point out that the company does not foresee any changes in its previously forecasted fourth-quarter performance for the Telecommunications or Environmental Technologies businesses. Corning’s Life Sciences business should see a more than 15% sequential increase in revenue due to the completion of the Discovery Labware acquisition during the quarter. In addition, Corning now expects its equity earnings from Dow Corning Corporation will be down about 20% sequentially, the result of further weakening of demand for solar-grade polysilicon.
Tripeny also will point out that improved volumes for LCD glass and Gorilla Glass will offset seasonal declines in Corning’s other businesses and should keep the company’s fourth-quarter gross margin percent at a level consistent with the previous quarter.
“Our recent business performance, particularly the strength of LCD glass sales and continued growth of Gorilla Glass, is a solid indication that Corning is on the path to resuming earnings growth,” Tripeny will conclude.
Upcoming Investor Events
Corning will host its annual investor day in New York on Feb. 8, 2013 at Cipriani. To register for the event, go to Corning’s website at www.corning.com/investor_relations and click Investor Events on the left.
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 Incorporated (www.corning.com) is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 160 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences. Our products include glass substrates for LCD televisions, computer monitors and laptops; ceramic substrates and filters for mobile emission control systems; optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment for telecommunications networks; optical biosensors for drug discovery; and other advanced optics and specialty glass solutions for a number of industries including semiconductor, aerospace, defense, astronomy, and metrology.