Tue, Jan. 27, 10:54 AM
- Following a strong Q4 highlighted by a December guidance hike, Corning (GLW +1.7%) expects LCD glass demand to be down slightly Q/Q in Q1, in-line with seasonality. Price declines are again expected to be moderate.
- Thanks to the Samsung deal and better-than-expected demand (lifted by enthusiasm for 4K TVs and larger sets), Corning's Display Technologies sales rose 69% Y/Y in Q4 to $1.1B. The segment's core earnings rose 26%.
- North American fiber-to-the-home buildouts fueled a 12% increase in Optical Communications sales to $676M, beating guidance for mid-single digit growth and contributing to the revenue beat. 10%+ growth is also expected in Q1.
- Specialty Materials sales (Gorilla Glass-driven) rose 12% to $319M, also better than expected. Corning reports seeing "strong consumer and manufacturer interest" in just-launched Gorilla Glass 4. ~10% Q1 growth is expected for the division.
- Environmental Technologies sales +5% to $238M, driven by demand for light and heavy-duty emissions products. Life Sciences sales +2% to $215M. Both divisions are expected to see roughly flat Y/Y sales in Q1.
- Gross margin rose to 41.4% from 39.3% a year earlier. Adjusting for one-time events, SG&A spend rose 22% to $380M, and R&D spend 24% to $209M. $183M was spent on buybacks.
- A weak yen lowered revenue by $198M. Corning plans to spend $1.3B-$1.4B in 2015 on capex, up from 2014's $1.1B.
- Shares are higher in spite of a 1.7% drop for the S&P.
- Q4 results, PR
Tue, Jan. 27, 7:25 AM
Mon, Jan. 26, 5:30 PM
Thu, Jan. 22, 1:15 AM
- Citing a "trusted source," BGR has provided a detailed list of specs for Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) upcoming Galaxy S6. Among the specs: A 5.1" quad HD (2560x1440) display, an 8-core CPU (presumably Samsung Exynos) that relies on Samsung/Globalfoundries' new 14nm manufacturing process, a 20MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, and a 5MP front camera with a large f/1.8 aperture (good for low-light shots).
- Samsung's next-gen flagship is also said to use Corning's (NYSE:GLW) Gorilla Glass 4, which was launched only in November and offers improved durability. With other reports stating the S6 will have glass panels on both its front and back (to go with a metal frame), two Gorilla Glass 4 panels might be used.
- Wireless charging is reportedly supported, along with a rapid charging feature that enables four hours of usage on a 10-minute charge. Dougherty thinks IDT (NASDAQ:IDTI) has a decent chance of being the S6's wireless charging IC supplier, and that a design win could yield $112M-$135M in annual revenue.
- Samsung is believed to be prepping both a standard S6 model, and one with curved edges. The S6 is expected to be revealed on March 2, the first day of this year's Mobile World Congress.
- Following a rough 2014, the Korean tech giant appears hungry to deliver new high-end models that stand out relative to the offerings of share-gaining Chinese OEMs. IDC estimates Samsung had a 23.8% Q4 global smartphone share, down from 32.5% a year earlier.
Thu, Jan. 15, 10:57 AM
- JPMorgan's Rod Hall has upgraded Corning (GLW +0.8%) to Overweight, and hiked his target by $5 to $26. His move comes a month after Citi's upgrade, and ahead of Corning's Jan. 27 Q4 report.
- Hall cites expectations of strong 4K/UHD TV growth - one of the factors behind Corning's Dec. 9 guidance hike - and the potential for the company's recently-launched Iris Glass (a light-guide plate solution for edge-lit TV sets) to boost 2016 EPS by as much as 6%.
- Corning is close to its 52-week high of $23.89, and trades for 15x 2015E EPS. The 2015 revenue growth consensus is at 2.2%.
Tue, Jan. 6, 6:40 PM
- Iris Glass is a new LCD light-guide plate (LGP) solution for edge-lit TV sets. It's housed within a TV's LED backlight assembly, and directs/distributes light throughout a set. Corning (NYSE:GLW) asserts Iris can "significantly reduce the thickness of a liquid crystal display TV set, making it as thin as a smartphone."
- The company notes the superior rigidity of glass relative to plastic (more commonly used in LGPs) enables TV makers to build thinner sets. Iris Glass is said to be 36x stiffer than plastic, and to feature 90% less thermal expansion.
- Corning, of course, is already a top supplier of LCD panel glass for the TV market. It's less than two months removed from launching Gorilla Glass 4 (provides improved damage resistance) for the mobile market.
Dec. 18, 2014, 9:20 AM
- Believing TV demand will be strong in the coming years as consumers upgrade their first flat-panel sets, Citi has upgraded Corning (NYSE:GLW) to Buy and hiked its target by $4 to $25.
- Last week, Corning hiked its Q4 LCD glass volume and pricing guidance, while citing stronger-than-expected LCD TV market demand. Both larger screen sizes and the adoption of 4K sets has been boosting demand.
- NPD recently observed 32" and smaller TV sets accounted for the less than half of Thanksgiving week sales for the first time. Demand for larger sets rose sharply, with 50-64" sets seeing more sales than 33-49" sets. 65" and larger sets managed to account for over 5% of volume.
- Stronger demand for larger sets also benefits LCD panel suppliers AU Optronics (NYSE:AUO) and LG Display (NYSE:LPL).
- Yesterday: Dow Corning shuttering plant
Dec. 17, 2014, 5:55 PM
- Corning (NYSE:GLW) and Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) disclose their 50/50 Dow Corning JV is shutting down its Hemlock Semiconductor facility in Clarksville, TN, which makes polysilicon for solar cells and semiconductors. (8-Ks: Corning, Dow)
- The decision was made after a "review of sustained adverse market conditions and continued oversupply, the cost of operating the facility and the ongoing impact of tariffs on polycrystalline silicon imported into China." A $1.5B-$1.6B pre-tax charge will be taken.
- At the same time, Dow Corning has cut its estimate for the company's future liability related to its 1998 breast implant settlement by $1.3B; the liability stood at $1.7B at the end of Q3.
- Corning and Dow Chemical each expect to see a $500M post-tax hit from the closing of the Hemlock plant, and a $400M post-tax benefit from the liability estimate cut.
- GLW +0.9% AH.
Dec. 9, 2014, 10:16 AM
- In a PR issued ahead of a Barclays conference presentation, Corning (NYSE:GLW) says it now expects global LCD glass demand to rise by a low-single digit % Q/Q in Q4, better than prior guidance for a slight decline. Corning forecasts its glass growth to be in-line with market growth.
- Also, Q4 price declines are expected to be "even more moderate than anticipated at the beginning of the quarter.," and Corning expects 2015 price declines to smaller than 2014's due to strong LCD TV demand, a weak yen, and tightening supplies. Demand for both larger sets and 4K TVs is giving the industry a boost.
- Also: Corning says Samsung is using recently-launched Gorilla Glass 4 (offers improved damage resistance) in its high-end Galaxy Alpha phone.
- LCD driver IC vendor Himax (HIMX +2.1%) is following Corning higher on a morning the Nasdaq is down 1.1%. Large-panel drivers accounted for 28% of Himax's Q3 sales.
Dec. 3, 2014, 2:41 PM
- Corning (GLW +2.6%) has hiked its quarterly dividend by 20% to $0.12/share. That's good for a 2.2% yield at current levels. The glass giant's Q1 dividend will be payable on March 31 to shareholders on record as of Feb. 27.
- Corning has also authorized a new $1.5B buyback. It launched a $2B buyback a year ago, and later used it to strike a $1.25B accelerated share repurchase deal with Citi.
- The announcement comes a day after Corning announced a deal to buy Samsung's optical fiber/cable unit, a move that bolsters the Asian presence of Corning's already-sizable optical fiber business. The company's optical communications sales totaled $698M in Q3, +7% Y/Y and equal to 26% of total revenue.
- Shares have rallied following the dividend/buyback announcement, and aren't far from a 52-week high of $22.37.
Dec. 2, 2014, 4:11 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is selling its fiber optics business to U.S. glass panel supplier Corning (NYSE:GLW).
- The sale includes Samsung Electronics' production facilities for the business in China and South Korea, a company spokeswoman said, although she declined to comment on details of the sale, including the price.
Nov. 20, 2014, 6:52 PM
- In lab tests, Gorilla Glass 4 was up to 2x as likely to survive a 1-meter, face-down, drop onto a rough surface as Gorilla Glass 3 and other alternatives, Corning (NYSE:GLW) claims - a survival rate of "up to" 80% was seen overall. At the same time, Corning promises GG4 delivers the same optical clarity as its predecessors.
- GG4's launch comes after Apple opted against using sapphire cover glass (thinner and more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass) in the iPhone 6/6 Plus, reportedly after tests resulted in sapphire cracking during drops. Would-be sapphire supplier GT Advanced is in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings.
- It also comes after Corning guided for Specialty Materials revenue (driven by Gorilla Glass) to fall by a low-to-mid teens % Q/Q in Q4; soft tablet demand and competition from low-end glassmakers is believed to be taking a toll. Analyst Paul Semeza. "Generally those cheaper solutions are not as good, in physical durability. But for low-end products they could be good enough."
- In addition to mobile OEMs, improved damage-resistance could appeal to automakers - Corning has been trying to sell them on Gorilla Glass' weight-saving potential.
Nov. 17, 2014, 5:40 PM
Nov. 12, 2014, 12:34 PM
- Corning (GLW -0.5%) and Zhone (ZHNE +5.4%) plan to co-market a network solution for enterprises that pairs Corning's fiber connectivity and distributed antenna hardware with Zhone's FiberLAN passive optical network (PON) gear.
- The companies declare the offering, which leverages Corning's ONE Wireless enterprise network platform, will allow companies to "deploy an integrated fiber network solution that includes both the electronics and passive fiber optic components in one converged solution."
- Zhone is rallying following the news. Corning's optical division, best known for its optical fiber offerings, accounted for a quarter of the company's Q3 sales.
Oct. 28, 2014, 10:07 AM
- Corning (GLW +1.2%) is guiding for Specialty Materials core sales (includes Gorilla Glass) to "decrease sequentially by a low-to-mid teen digit percentage, reflecting the absence of new product launches that occurred in the third quarter."
- While the iPhone 6 is believed to use Gorilla Glass, soft tablet sales have weighed on Specialty Materials' performance. On the other hand, auto industry interest in Gorilla Glass (for solutions that can lower weight) is growing.
- LCD glass volume is expected to be flat to down slightly Q/Q, and LCD price declines more moderate. Full-year global retail glass demand is forecast to be up 10%, and demand for 4K TVs and larger sets is expected to boost 2015 sales.
- Optical Communications is expected to grow by a mid-single digit % Y/Y, and Environmental Technologies to grow by a high-single digit %. Life Sciences is expected to be flat.
- Q3 segment performance: Display Technologies sales (boosted by the Samsung deal) +62% Y/Y to $689M; Optical +7% to $650M; Environmental +25% to $282M (diesel emissions product demand); Specialty Materials +0.3% to $327M; Life Sciences -0.5% to $214M.
- Gross margin was 42.9%, +130 bps Q/Q and -70 bps Y/Y. SG&A spend -3% to $256M, R&D +8% to $199M. $200M was spent to repurchase 9.6M shares.
- Shares opened lower, but have quickly moved higher.
- Q3 results, PR
Oct. 28, 2014, 7:18 AM
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