Speaking at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders this morning, Wendell P. Weeks, Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE: GLW) chairman, chief executive officer, and president, told the audience that Corning is strong.
“We have delivered solid financial results, returned cash to shareholders, and launched new products that extend our track record of innovation. Most importantly, we have continued to live the values that make Corning such a special company,” Weeks said.
Weeks began by briefly reviewing Corning’s 2018 performance. Highlights include:
- Earned 518 U.S. patents, strengthening the company’s leadership in glass, ceramics, optical physics, and proprietary manufacturing technology;
- Introduced Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6;
- Passed more than 45 million homes globally with fiber-to-the-home solutions;
- Exceeded $50 million in sales of gasoline particulate filters; and
- Continued to grow faster than the market in Life Sciences Vessels, driven by innovative products for bioprocessing and cell therapy.
Weeks acknowledged that all of Corning’s businesses contributed to strong financial results in 2018. He told shareholders that Tuesday’s first-quarter results provided an excellent start to Corning’s strong full-year 2019 performance expectations, adding that Corning has a robust set of opportunities in diverse markets.
Weeks also told shareholders, “How we do things is as important as what we achieve.” He shared several examples of how the company is- living its values, including earning its sixth consecutive Energy Star Partner of the Year award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“I think you’ll agree that Corning is not only a company that delivers strong results, but also one you can be proud of,” he said.
Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework
Weeks reminded shareholders that as part of the company’s Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework, Corning expects to generate between $26 billion and $30 billion through 2019. The company is investing $10 billion to extend its market leadership and deliver business growth over the long term. Corning also plans to distribute more than $12.5 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and annual dividend increases of at least 10%.
“We are extremely pleased with our execution,” Weeks said. In February, the company announced an 11% increase to its quarterly dividend. And, in more than three years, Corning has returned $12.3 billion to shareholders. Turning to the company’s focused portfolio, Weeks described how Corning was capturing opportunities across its five market-access platforms.
Weeks concluded: “I truly believe that Corning’s future has never been brighter. We have multiple businesses driving our growth. We have best-in-the-world capabilities that are becoming increasingly vital. We have relationships with industry-leading customers that continue to unlock new opportunities. We have a proven track record of delivering results. And we have more than 50,000 employees committed to making the company stronger and the world better.”
During the meeting's formal business, shareholders re-elected the following 14 directors to one-year terms: Donald W. Blair, 61; Leslie A. Brun, 66; Stephanie A. Burns, 64; John A. Canning Jr., 74; Richard T. Clark, 73; Robert F. Cummings, Jr., 69; Deborah A. Henretta, 58; Daniel P. Huttenlocher, 60; Kurt M. Landgraf, 72; Kevin J. Martin, 52; Deborah D. Rieman, 69; Hansel E. Tookes II, 71; Wendell P. Weeks, 59; and Mark S. Wrighton, 69. Shareholders also approved the 2018 compensation of the company’s executives named in its proxy statement (“Say on Pay”), ratified the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2019 and approved the 2019 Equity Plan for Non-Employee Directors.
Following the meeting, Dr. Richard Eglen, vice president and general manager, Corning Life Sciences, presented how customers are using Corning’s innovative technologies and products to drive advancements in cell and gene therapy, bioprocess, and drug discovery.
The company will host a live webcast of the 2019 annual meeting of shareholders in Corning, New York, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EDT, May 2, 2019. To access the webcast, please go to www.corning.com/investor_relations, select “Events” and click on “More Information” next to the annual meeting event. No password is required. The webcast will be archived on the website for one year.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts or information and contain words such as “will,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “see,” “would,” and “target” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and include estimates and assumptions related to economic, competitive and legislative developments. Such statements relate to future events that by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. These estimates are subject to change and uncertainty which are, in many instances, beyond our control. There can be no assurance that future developments will be in accordance with management’s expectations. Actual results could differ materially from those expected by us, depending on the outcome of various factors. We do not undertake to update forward-looking statements.
Some of the risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the effects of acquisitions, dispositions and other similar transactions, global business, financial, economic and political conditions; tariffs and import duties; currency fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and other currencies, primarily the Japanese yen, euro, Chinese yuan and South Korean won; product demand and industry capacity; competitive products and pricing; availability and costs of critical components and materials; new product development and commercialization; order activity and demand from major customers; the amount and timing of our cash flows and earnings and other conditions, which may affect our ability to pay our quarterly dividend at the planned level or to repurchase shares at planned levels; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity, cyber-attack, armed conflict, political or financial instability, natural disasters, or major health concerns; unanticipated disruption to equipment, facilities, IT systems or operations; effect of regulatory and legal developments; ability to pace capital spending to anticipated levels of customer demand; rate of technology change; ability to enforce patents and protect intellectual property and trade secrets; adverse litigation; product and components performance issues; retention of key personnel; customer ability, most notably in the Display Technologies segment, to maintain profitable operations and obtain financing to fund their ongoing operations and manufacturing expansions and pay their receivables when due; loss of significant customers; changes in tax laws and regulations including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017; the impacts of audits by taxing authorities; and the potential impact of legislation, government regulations, and other government action and investigations.
For a complete listing of risks and other factors, please reference the risk factors and forward-looking statements described in our annual reports on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.
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 uses 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, or supplemental to information contained in this or other press releases. 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.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world's leading innovators in materials science, with a more than 165-year track record of life-changing inventions. Corning applies its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramic science, and optical physics along with its deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop category-defining products that transform industries and enhance people's lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in RD&E, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and deep, trust-based relationships with customers who are global leaders in their industries.
Corning's capabilities are versatile and synergistic, which allows the company to evolve to meet changing market needs, while also helping our customers capture new opportunities in dynamic industries. Today, Corning's markets include optical communications, mobile consumer electronics, display technology, automotive, and life sciences vessels. Corning's industry-leading products include damage-resistant cover glass for mobile devices; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for state-of-the-art communications networks; trusted products to accelerate drug discovery and delivery; and clean-air technologies for cars and trucks.