Corning: return to profitability in 3Q 2003

Corning Inc. returned to profitability in the 3Q 2003 thanks to better market conditions and increasing demand for flat panel LCD monitors.
The manufacturer of optical fiber and LCD glass said 22 Oct…

Corning Inc. returned to profitability in the 3Q 2003 thanks to better market conditions and increasing demand for flat panel LCD monitors. The manufacturer of optical fiber and LCD glass said 22 October 2003 that 3Q net income was USD 33 million, or USD 0.02 a share, compared with a loss of USD 133 million, or USD 0.25 a share. The latest quarter earnings were consistent with Wall Street“s consensus estimate. The results for the 3Q 2003 included charges of USD 31 million related to an increase in the market value of its stock. A year earlier, Corning took a restructuring and impairment charge of around USD 125 million. Sales for the 3Q 2003 were USD 772 million, higher than the company“s previous guidance of USD 740 million to USD 765 million, and 1.3% higher than year-ago sales of USD 762 million. The company puts 4Q 2003 sales at USD 740 million to USD 765 million, compared with the consensus estimate of USD 760.7 million. For the 4Q, Corning expects earnings of USD 0.03 to USD 0.04 a share before special items. In the year-ago 4Q, Corning posted a loss of USD 0.10 a share from continuing operations, on revenue of USD 736 million. Telecommunications segment sales for the 3Q were USD 370 million, up USD 23 million over 2Q sales of USD 347 million. The rise was due to a sequential increase in fiber volume of almost 20%, driven principally by seasonal strength in North America and Europe, along with continued demand in Japan and China. However, 4Q sales are expected to be down from 3Q levels due to lower submarine cable project sales and anticipated declines in fiber volume. Corning“s technologies segment sales for the 3Q were USD 396 million, against USD 400 million for the 2Q. Sales increases in the company“s Display Technologies and Environmental Technologies businesses were offset mainly by declines in the conventional television tube business, which Corning decided to exit earlier in 2003 with the closure of the Corning Asahi CRT plant at State College, Pennsylvania. The company expects 4Q sales in its technologies segment to increase, led by sequential volume increases in LCD glass of 15% to 20%, with continued stable pricing.