"More than a decade of outstanding industrial performance has given us a strong foundation on which to build," Wendell P. Weeks told investors at the company’s Annual Investor Day in New York on February 5, 2016.
Looking ahead, he said: "Our overall mandate is simple: we will focus our portfolio and utilize our financial strength."
Weeks explained that Corning expects to generate more than $20 billion through 2019. The company plans to invest $10 billion to grow and sustain its leadership, while also distributing more than $10 billion to shareholders. Weeks noted key actions including the recently completed $1.25 billion accelerated share repurchase and the 12.5% dividend increase as evidence that Corning was executing on that plan.
He then went on to describe Corning’s plans to focus its portfolio. "The core of what Corning does is invent, make, and sell. We create value by inventing category-defining products, using transformative manufacturing platforms, and building strong, trust-based relationships with customers who are leaders in their industries," explained Weeks. "Now we’re seeking to augment that value-creation through a more focused and cohesive portfolio that improves our probability of success, reduces the cost of innovation, and increases the barriers to entry."
“We are best-in-the-world in three core Technologies, four Manufacturing & Engineering platforms, and five Market-Access Platforms."
— Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
"We are best-in-the-world in three core Technologies, four Manufacturing & Engineering platforms, and five Market-Access Platforms," said Weeks. "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.”
Weeks told shareholders that the company is experiencing strong customer pull for its capabilities across today’s businesses, and keeps identifying new challenges that Corning is uniquely qualified to address. He reminded investors that Corning has a long track record of capturing disruptive growth opportunities, and noted that the company is currently leveraging each of its market access platforms to seize more opportunities for disruptive innovation and growth. Weeks ended by clarifying that Corning is only counting on its existing businesses and products to generate $20 billion in its plan. “Everything else is upside,” he said.