Sep. 9, 2015, 3:06 PM
- Not surprisingly, the 4.7" iPhone 6S and 5.5" 6S+ (AAPL -0.6%) look similar to their predecessors on the outside, save for the addition of a rose gold color. On the inside, haptic 3D Touch sensors have been added (in-line with rumors). They enable tactile feedback for actions, as well as pressure-sensitive controls (i.e. pressing hard on a screen brings up content/menu options that don't appear if one presses lightly).
- The Mail, Music, Camera, Maps, and Messages apps support 3D Touch, as does the Home screen. Facebook/Instagram, Dropbox, and Tencent are among the developers initially supporting it.
- iPhone 6S/6S+ specs: As expected, the 6S/6S+ run on an A9 CPU: Apple promises up to 70% higher CPU performance, and up to 90% higher GPU performance, than the A8. An M9 motion co-processor is now built into the CPU, and always on - NXP (NXPI -1.1%) has been manufacturing standalone motion co-processors for Apple. The cover glass - possibly Corning's (GLW -0.7%) Gorilla Glass 4 - is declared to be the industry's strongest.
- The rear camera's pixel count has been upped to 12MP, and the front camera's to 5MP; Apple promises no related dropoff in pixel quality. 4K video support has been added for the rear camera (also as rumored), and autofocus performance and color accuracy improved. A feature called Live Photos (leverages 3D Touch) plays a short video clip when a user hard-presses a picture.
- Pricing/availability: Subsidized pricing matches that for the iPhone 6/6+ at launch time, as do the 16/64/128GB storage tiers; 6/6+ models have received $100 price cuts . An upgrade program (a new iPhone per year, starts at $32/month) will be sold at Apple Stores. 6S/6S+ pre-orders start on Sep. 12; the phones officially go on sale on Sep. 25. iOS 9 launches on Sep. 16.
- More Apple TV details: The set-top runs on an A8 CPU (found in the iPhone 6/6+), and supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Its remote communicates via Bluetooth, and has built-in motion sensors (enables Nintendo Wii-like gaming). Apps from Zillow, Gilt, the MLB, and indie game developers have been demoed. 3rd-party Bluetooth gaming controllers are supported.
- A 32GB version of the new Apple TV set-top will sell for $149, and a 64GB model for $199; the devices launch in late October. The current Apple TV will continue to be sold for $69.
- Apple livestream. Live blogs: The Verge, Engadget.
- Prior Apple coverage
Jul. 28, 2015, 9:49 AM
- Corning (GLW -1.6%) spent $616M on buybacks in Q2. That helped EPS slightly beat estimates in spite of a small revenue miss. Also helping: Core gross margin rose 100 bps Y/Y to 45% (GAAP GM was flat at 42%), and R&D spend fell 8% to $191M. SG&A spend rose 5% to $337M.
- Display Technologies (LCD glass): Sales fell 20% Y/Y to $789M, thanks in large part to a $174M forex hit from a weak yen. Net income nonetheless rose 7% to $303M. Glass volume rose by a low-single digit % Q/Q, and glass prices fell "moderately," in-line with expectations. Glass volume is expected to rise by a low-single digit % in Q3; price declines are expected to remain moderate. However, Corning has cut its forecast for global 2015 LCD glass growth to 6%-7%; weak PC, tablet, and European/Latin TV sales are cited.
- Optical Communications (fiber): Sales rose 17% to $800M, and net income 26% to $77M. Corning is hiking its full-year outlook for the segment, citing strong fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and data center demand - it expects mid-teens Y/Y growth in both Q3 and 2015.
- Specialty Materials (Gorilla Glass): Sales fell 9% to $272M, while net income rose 13% to $44M. Advanced optics product sales fell, while Gorilla Glass volumes rose at a mid-teens clip. Gorilla Glass volume (likely boosted by iPhone 6S orders) is expected to rise by a high-single digit % Q/Q in Q3.
- Environmental Technologies: Sales fell 9% to $260M, and net income 2% to $46M. Sales are expected to be down slightly Y/Y in Q3 due to forex.
- Life Sciences: Sales fell 5% to $211M, and net income was flat at $18M. Sales are expected to drop slightly Y/Y due to forex.
- Corning ended Q2 with $5.47B in cash/short-term investments, and $4.01B in long-term debt.
- Q2 results, PR
Jul. 28, 2015, 7:17 AM
- Corning (NYSE:GLW): Q2 EPS of $0.38 beats by $0.01.
- Revenue of $2.52B (-2.3% Y/Y) misses by $20M.
Jul. 27, 2015, 5:30 PM
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Jul. 22, 2015, 1:33 PM
- A day after announcing long-time CFO/vice chairman James Flaws is stepping down and would be replaced as CFO by controller/accounting chief Tony Tripeny, Corning (GLW +0.3%) announces corporate development chief Lawrence McRae will be its new vice chairman.
- McRae, who now also has the title of corporate development officer, will "continue to lead the company’s corporate development function, focusing on strategic approaches to business development including mergers and acquisitions." CEO Wendell Weeks remains executive chairman.
- Also: Corning has named Jeffrey Evenson, formerly its operations chief off staff, the company's chief strategy officer. He'll now "oversee the corporate strategy and corporate communications functions and a new center of excellence for advanced analytics."
- Corning is up modestly following the announcements. Many other Apple suppliers aren't so lucky.
Jul. 21, 2015, 6:02 PM| Jul. 21, 2015, 6:02 PM | 1 Comment
Jul. 21, 2015, 11:57 AM
- 13 months after Corning (GLW -0.5%) launched an antimicrobial version of Gorilla Glass - it uses ionic silver to kill bacteria that can form on a touchscreen over weeks/months of use - the company has announced ZTE is using the glass on its new Axon flagship Android phone.
- Antimicrobial versions of Gorilla Glass presumably carry higher ASPs than standard versions. Thanks to iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 (dual glass panel) demand, Corning's Gorilla Glass volumes rose 20% Y/Y in Q1. Q2 results arrive on July 28.
Jul. 15, 2015, 4:57 PM
- Corning's (NYSE:GLW) new buyback program lasts through the end of 2016. It's good for repurchasing 8% of shares at current levels.
- The announcement comes ahead of Corning's July 28 Q2 report. The glass giant had $5.07B in cash/short-term investments to pay for buybacks with at the end of Q1, and $3.3B in debt.
- Corning spent $500M on buybacks in Q1, courtesy of a $1.5B buyback program that was launched last December.
- GLW +1.6% AH to $19.37.
Jul. 13, 2015, 9:34 AM
- Stating LCD glass volumes are likely to disappoint, BofA/Merrill has downgraded Corning (NYSE:GLW) to Underperform ahead of its July 28 Q2 report, and set a $16 target.
- BofA thinks Corning's end-markets are performing worse than expected, and forecasts Q3 glass volume will be flat-to-down Q/Q, worse than a consensus for 7%-10% growth.
- Shares now -17% YTD. They trade for 12x a 2016 EPS consensus of $1.60. RBC upgraded last month.
Jun. 30, 2015, 8:19 AM
- Corning (NYSE:GLW) has struck a deal with German pharma and healthcare glass/plastics maker Gerresheimer (OTC:GRRMF) to acquire the company's pharma glass tubing business for €196M ($219M) in cash (presumably offshore). The deal is expected to close by year's end.
- As part of the deal, Corning and Gerresheimer will enter into a long-term glass tubing supply agreement, and form a JV (75%-owned by Corning) to "focus on accelerating Corning innovations for the pharmaceutical glass packaging market."
- Corning notes drug-delivery advances and industry interest in greater efficiency are driving demand for more stringent pharma glass packaging requirements. It also sees cost synergies, and predicts the deal will allow it to "bring revolutionary new technologies to the pharmaceutical glass packaging market."
- In 2014, Corning's Life Sciences unit (offers PYREX and a variety of other pharma industry glass products) had revenue of $862M (+1% Y/Y) and net income of $87M.
- Yesterday: Barclays' top tech picks: ORCL, GLW, CAVM, TSS
Jun. 29, 2015, 6:15 PM
- Barclays has named enterprise software giant Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), glass giant Corning (NYSE:GLW), network processor/ARM server CPU vendor Cavium (NASDAQ:CAVM), and payment services provider Total System Services (NYSE:TSS) its top Americas tech picks.
- On Oracle: "Oracle is emerging from an extended period of product development and internal changes that position it well to capitalize on key tailwinds through 2016. With better execution in software and stabilization in hardware, we think investor sentiment will become more positive, specifically as quarterly results have been better, and the current valuation makes Oracle shares attractive." Shares are less than two weeks removed from selling off due to an FQ4 miss and light guidance.
- On Corning: "The launch of Gorilla Glass 4 has been successful and additional glass industry dynamics remain beneficial. Other new glass products highlight Corning’s ability to move with the market and compete with non-glass solutions over time. Capital allocation will remain a major component of the story and the company’s large share repurchase program (roughly $1bn remaining) and $0.48 annual dividend should lend support to the stock." Barron's made a bull case earlier this month.
- On Cavium: "CAVM’s base business is levered to strong end market growth trends within the security, wireless infra, and data center end markets, but we also see [addressable market] expansion through its Fusion-M (doubles base station content and likely drives share gains), Liquid IO (gen 2 ramps 2H15), 2/4 core Octeon (addresses FSL $500+ business), and Fusion (small cell) products. ThunderX (ARM server SoC) and XPliant (switch silicon) both add incremental $1bn+ TAMs with disruptive solutions. CAVM will likely need to weather one more quarter without real upside but multiple products are progressing toward material revenue in 2016." CLSA and Needham cited some of the same catalysts in bullish June notes.
- On TSS: "Despite recent accounts on file (AOF) wins (e.g., BMO, TD, BAC) TSS expects to be able to grow North American revenue by mid- to-high single digits organically on an annual basis over the longer term. Given strong drivers such as card transactions (Nilson projects transactions on cards to grow ~7% from 2013 to 2018), and AOF outsourcing trends, we see the implied 5-9% y/y longer-term growth guidance as achievable, particularly when combined with nominal GDP growth."
Jun. 16, 2015, 8:41 AM
- Expecting the company to benefit from a 4K TV upgrade cycle and rising data center investments (lifting optical fiber sales), RBC has upgraded Corning (NYSE:GLW) to Outperform, and set a $26 target.
- Barron's cited those same catalysts (among others) in a recent bullish column. Corning's Display Technologies unit saw revenue fall 13% Y/Y in Q1 thanks to a weak yen (it was up 1% otherwise). Optical Communications division sales rose 18%, thanks to both organic growth and the TR Manufacturing acquisition.
- GLW +1.1% premarket to $20.60.
Jun. 8, 2015, 9:45 AM
- Corning (GLW +0.7%) has a good product pipeline, a compelling valuation, and strong exposure to 4K TV growth, argues Barron's in an upbeat weekend column. "All in all, the picture at Corning is clear and bright."
- The paper notes Corning expects 4K TV shipments to more than double in 2015 to 25M units - JPMorgan sees shipments rising 171% to 33.3M, and another 62% next year to 53.8M - thereby lifting a Display Technologies unit that accounts for 64% of profits. It also sees Corning's antimicrobial glass and bendable Willow Glass, and an optical division benefiting from strong FTTH and data center fiber demand, acting as potential growth engines.
- Barron's adds shares trade for a moderate ~11x expected 2017 EPS, that the dividend yield stands at 2.3% and that Corning "has bought back 12% of its shares outstanding and raised its dividend four times" since 2011. CEO Wendell has stated capital returns will continue growing.
- Shares opened up over 2%, but have since pared their gains.
Jun. 1, 2015, 7:02 PM
- Corning's (NYSE:GLW) Lotus NXT display substrate glass (differs from cover glass such as Gorilla Glass) succeeds Lotus XT (launched in 2013), and is promised to deliver "industry-leading levels of low total pitch variation" for high-res LCD and OLED displays.
- NXT's improved pitch performance is said to enable "display panels that feature up to 100 pixels per inch higher resolutions or up to 15 percent lower power consumption," and also improve panel cell assembly yields by up to 1.5%. Pixel densities for smartphone displays have continued rising; Samsung's Note 4 and Galaxy S6 both sport 2K (2560x1440 displays).
- Prior Corning Glass launches: Iris Glass, Gorilla Glass 4
May 6, 2015, 10:52 AM
- Corning (GLW +1%) is selling $375M worth of senior notes due May 2018, and $375M worth of senior notes due May 2022. The debt respectively carries interest rates of 1.5% and 2.9%.
- The glass giant only says the proceeds will be use for "general corporate purposes." Buybacks are a possibility - Corning spent $500M on them in Q1.
- Corning had $5.1B in cash/short-term investments at the end of Q1 ($2B in the U.S., the rest offshore), and $3.3B in long-term debt.
Apr. 29, 2015, 10:01 AM
- CLSA has downgraded Corning (GLW -3.1%) to Sell from Underperform a day after the company posted mixed Q1 results. The firm thinks LCD TV glass comps will be tougher in 2H15 - the division's revenue fell 13% Y/Y in Q1 thanks to a weak yen - and that high inventories and lower forex hedging gains will also act as headwinds.
- Meanwhile, the company's Dow Corning JV with Dow Chemical (DOW -0.6%) has posted its Q1 results: Revenue fell 11% Y/Y to $1.36B, and adjusted net income 8% to $101M.
- Weak sales of polysilicon (used in solar cell/module production) weighed on Dow Corning's results - the company blames "the timing of customers taking product under long-term contracts." Its silicones business "experienced volume growth in several of its highly specialized product lines, especially for materials sold in construction, healthcare and packaging applications," but also saw a 4.7% revenue growth impact from a strong dollar.
- The JV is less than 5 months removed from announcing it's shutting down a Clarksville, TN polysilicon plant, and taking a related $1.5B-$1.6B charge. On its CC (transcript), Corning stated it expects its share of Dow Corning's earnings will rise to $60M in Q2 (implies total adjusted net income of $120M) from $51M in Q1; silicones sales are expected to be flat Y/Y, and polysilicon sales lower.