Ahead of CFO James Flaws' 1:45PM ET UBS conference talk (webcast), Corning (GLW) reiterates it expects Q4 earnings to be down Q/Q due to both seasonality and "specific business factors," such as weakness in its optical fiber business. (PR)
As it is, Corning's Q4 EPS consensus is at $0.28, below reported Q3 EPS of $0.33.
Corning also states it expects Specialty Materials sales (inc. Gorilla Glass) to be down 20% Y/Y, something attributed to inventory builds a year ago. Corning previously guided for Specialty Materials sales to be flat Q/Q in Q4; that implied an 18% Y/Y drop. The company promises a subsequent return to growth, fueled by smartphone, tablet, and notebook demand.
In an effort to address worries about GT Advanced's (GTAT) big sapphire supply deal with Apple, Corning asserts it "continues to innovate with Apple to advance the state of the art with even tougher versions of [Gorilla Glass]," and that it continues to work on improving Gorilla Glass' durability and scratch-resistance (two key selling points for sapphire).
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