Apr. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
Apr. 11, 2014, 9:48 AM
- Corning (GLW -1.4%) has been cut to Neutral by UBS.
- Symantec (SYMC -1.3%) has been cut to Equal Weight by Barclays.
- TE Connectivity (TEL +1.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by BofA/Merrill.
- Imperva (IMPV +1.6%) has received a contrarian upgrade to Buy from Sterne Agee a day after falling 44% due to its Q1 warning.
- Demandware (DWRE +0.9%) has been upgraded to Outperform by BMO.
- Ellie Mae (ELLI -5%) has been cut to Market Perform by FBR.
Mar. 26, 2014, 9:54 AM
- Corning's (GLW +2.8%) earnings power will be boosted by a multi-year TV replacement cycle and its multiples could benefit from glass industry consolidation caused by the poor balance sheets of rivals, thinks Susquehanna's Mehdi Hosseini, upgrading shares to Positive.
- Hosseini also forecasts "material improvement in the cost and margin profile" for Gorilla Glass thanks to the Samsung deal and the shifting of some production from Japan to South Korea. That, in turn, will allow Gorilla Glass to maintain at least a 10x cost advantage relative to sapphire, which GT Advanced (GTAT -0.5%) is set to make large volumes of for Apple.
- He also points out 45% of 2013 Gorilla Glass demand came from tablets, a market for which sapphire could remain cost-prohibitive for a while.
- Global TV shipments fell in both 2012 and 2013, thanks to high penetration rates and a shift in consumer electronics spend towards smartphones/tablets. DisplaySearch has forecast modest growth for 2014.
Mar. 11, 2014, 6:46 PM
- Intel's (INTC) new MXC server interconnect cables leverage the chip giant's silicon photonics tech and optical fibers developed by Corning (GLW) to enable 1.6Tbps transfer speeds (800Gbps each way) via 64 fibers running at 25Gbps apiece. Traditional solutions work at 10Gbps, and max out at 12-24 fibers.
- Corning plans to begin selling MXC cable assemblies, which have a range of 300 meters, in Q3. Intel asserts the technology's per-fiber throughput could eventually double to 50Gbps. The companies think supercomputer (HPC) vendors and cloud computing firms will be among the first buyers.
- Over time, MXC's blistering speeds stand to further Intel's goal of creating server architectures in which CPU, memory, storage, networking, and other resources can be separately pooled and upgraded as needed. "The ability to take my memory and stash it a rack away, optical can enable that," says Intel exec Mario Paniccia.
- Intel's efforts pose a challenge to optical component vendor Finisar (FNSR), whose shares sold off a year ago on worries about Intel and Cisco's silicon photonics efforts. They're also a challenge to high-speed interconnect leader Mellanox (MLNX), which last year acquired silicon photonics startup Kotura and 100G interconnect developer IPtronics. Since then, Mellanox has said it will ship 100G silicon photonics products in late 2014 or early 2015.
Mar. 4, 2014, 2:56 PM
- As part of the $2B buyback it announced in tandem with last October's Samsung deal, Corning (GLW +1.9%) is buying back $1.25B worth of shares through an accelerated share repurchase deal with Citi.
- The ASR, expected to be finished in Q2, is good for repurchasing 4.6% of shares at current levels.
- Separately, Goldman's Simona Jankowski is downplaying the impact of Apple's sapphire supply deal with GT Advanced, which has stoked fears Apple will stop using Gorilla Glass to cover iOS device displays.
- Jankowski estimates the revenue impact of lost Apple share for Corning will only amount to $38M-$150M/year; the company's 2014 revenue consensus is at $10.1B.
- Two undiscussed issues: 1) Whether Apple's move will compel other mobile OEMs to explore using sapphire cover glass. 2) Whether the OEMs will be able to obtain enough sapphire to use it, given Apple's exclusive relationship with GT.
Feb. 11, 2014, 12:44 PM
- Chinese sites report Apple's (AAPL +1.4%) iWatch will feature sapphire cover glass, but its next-gen iPhone won't due to cost concerns.
- Apple sapphire manufacturing partner GT Advanced (GTAT -5.1%) is selling off, while Gorilla Glass supplier Corning (GLW +1.4%) is following the tech sector higher.
- 9to5 Mac reported last week GT has received delivery of 518 sapphire chamber/furnace systems - enough, according to one analyst, to provide cover glass for 103M-116M 5" iPhones per year - and is ordering another 420 systems.
- It's worth noting Apple is generally believed to obtain a 50%+ gross margin on its latest-gen iPhones, and hasn't been scared in the past to use costlier components for the sake of improving the user experience.
Jan. 28, 2014, 9:34 AM
- Though Corning (GLW -7.8%) beat Q4 estimates and is guiding for its display technologies (LCD TV/monitor glass) volumes to be "in-line with normal seasonality" in Q1 (down slightly Q/Q), it also "expects LCD glass price declines to be higher than previous quarters."
- Price declines are expected to "return to moderate levels" afterwards, and Corning expects 2014 retail demand (in terms of sq. feet) to be "up a mid-to-high single digit percentage."
- Display technologies sales (33% of total) fell 5% Y/Y in Q4 to $665M after growing 7% in Q3; the segment's core earnings were flat. Optical communications (fiber) sales rose 12% to $605M vs. 24% in Q3, but an unfavorable mix and shutdowns led earnings to drop 18%.
- Specialty materials (Gorilla Glass) sales fell 29% to $285M vs. a 10% drop in Q3 (customer inventories are blamed). But sales are expected to be flat in Q1. Environmental technologies +9% to $238M vs. -3% in Q3, life sciences (lifted by M&A) +14% to $185M vs. +39%.
- Environmental sales are expected to be up by a mid-single digit % in Q1 and optical sales by a mid-teens %. Life sciences sales are expected to be flat.
- Q4 gross margin was 40%, down 400 bps Q/Q and 200 bps Y/Y. Gorilla Glass declines and optical mix are blamed. Thanks to the Samsung deal, $1.08B was spent on buybacks, which boosted EPS. SG&A spend -7% Y/Y to $332M, R&D -23% to $169M.
- Q4 results, PR
Jan. 28, 2014, 9:10 AM
Jan. 28, 2014, 7:37 AM
Jan. 28, 2014, 12:05 AM
Jan. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jan. 24, 2014, 5:36 PM
- Taiwan's Apple Daily reports (translation) Foxconn has built at least 100 iPhone (AAPL -1.8%) prototypes featuring sapphire cover glass. The paper also reports two existing sapphire suppliers have recently made big equipment/tooling investments; Apple already uses sapphire in its iPhone home buttons and camera lens covers.
- The report comes two months after Apple announce a major sapphire production/supply deal with GT Advanced (GTAT +0.9%), one that naturally fueled speculation sapphire will be used as a cover glass in future iDevices.
- Corning (GLW -4.1%) investors have been on edge over Apple's moves, and their potential to drive broader mobile adoption of sapphire (thereby displacing Gorilla Glass).
- Separately, 9to5 Mac reports a new Apple TV set-top is set to arrive in 1H14, and iLounge reports a refreshed Apple TV will feature "proper game support." With iOS 7 supporting physical game controllers, Apple TV has already been expected by many to become a casual gaming console. Logitech (LOGI), which has already rolled out an iPhone game controller, wouldn't mind.
- Yesterday: Apple reportedly launching two larger iPhones in 2H14
Jan. 3, 2014, 1:56 PM
- Corning (GLW +0.5%) is working with Taiwanese manufacturer G-Tech Optoelectronics to bring 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass parts to market in 2014. The glass-forming technology needed to produce the parts is said to be manufacturing-ready. (PR)
- The 3D parts target a burgeoning market for mobile and wearable devices with curved and/or form-fitting glass. Samsung and LG recently launched phones with curved OLED displays, and Apple is reportedly prepping both an iWatch and larger iPhones featuring curved glass.
- Corning has already launched Willow Glass, a bendable product that could find its way into smartwatches and other wrap-around devices. The company is looking to fend off a looming threat from sapphire glass suppliers such as GT Advanced (GTAT +1.8%), which recently struck a big supply deal with Apple.
Nov. 20, 2013, 9:22 AM
- 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).
- Shares -0.6% premarket.
Nov. 5, 2013, 11:03 AM
- GT Advanced (GTAT +23.4%) has caught four upgrades and soared to new 52-week highs after striking a huge sapphire supply deal Apple. Rubicon (RBCN +25.3%) is also flying higher. Corning (GLW -2.9%), meanwhile, is heading in the opposite direction as investors worry Apple (and perhaps also peers) will begin using sapphire instead of Gorilla Glass to cover smartphone/tablet displays.
- The deal still has some skeptics; they point to the fact GT's sapphire materials sales to Apple are expected carry much lower gross margins than its traditional equipment sales, that Apple isn't providing any purchase commitments, and that exclusivity requirements stand to limit GT's sales to other mobile OEMs. But by and large, optimism about the opening of a major new market opportunity long targeted by GT is overshadowing these concerns.
- Cantor is defending Corning, arguing sapphire will more likely be used in small form-factor Apple devices (an iWatch?) than in iPhone/iPad displays. Sterne Agee estimates Apple accounts for 10%-15% of Corning's phone-related sales.
- GT's management refrained from providing additional details about Apple on the CC (transcript); Apple tends to demand heavy secrecy from suppliers. But they did strike an optimistic tone about sapphire pricing and furnace utilization rates among traditional clients, and predicted customers will likely " start taking delivery of backlog at a faster pace, as [GT's] capacity opens up again." GT also claimed to be making good progress in commercializing its Hyperion tech (set for a 2015 launch) for solar applications;
- On the other hand, GT doesn't think the solar equipment market will "show significant opportunity" before 2015.
Nov. 4, 2013, 4:41 PM
- The deal, announced within GT Advanced's (GTAT) Q3 report, calls on GT to supply Apple (AAPL) with sapphire via furnaces the former company will own/operate at an Arizona facility owned by the latter.
- GT plans to employ 700+ people at the facility, and Apple will be providing GT with a $578M prepayment to assist with the efforts. GT will reimburse Apple for the prepayment over five years, starting in 2015.
- The magnitude of the initiative suggests Apple plans to use sapphire cover glass to protect the displays used in future iOS hardware (perhaps including 2014 iPhones/iPads). Rumors about such a move have been around for a while, heightened by Apple's use of sapphire to protect iPhone camera lenses and the iPhone 5S' home button.
- Assuming Apple uses GT's sapphire with iOS hardware displays, the deal is a negative for Gorilla Glass supplier Corning (GLW), particularly since it could encourage other mobile OEMs to embrace sapphire and improve its economies of scale. Sapphire is thinner, stronger, and more scratch-resistant than current cover glass solutions such as Gorilla Glass, but is also much costlier.
- On account of the Apple deal, GT has "accelerated the development of its next generation, large capacity ASF furnaces." The company expects these efforts to aid its efforts to offer next-gen furnaces to traditional customers in other market segments (LEDs, industrial manufacturing, etc.).
- Update: Arizona's governor's office announces Apple will be building a new facility in Mesa, AZ. 1.3K construction jobs will be created to go with GT's 700+ manufacturing jobs. Corning is now down 1.2% AH.
Corning Inc is engaged in manufacturing of specialty glass and ceramics. The Company's segments are Display Technologies, Optical Communications, Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials and Life Sciences.
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