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
Oct. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
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Oct. 23, 2014, 5:01 PM
- Along with its Q3 results, Maxwell (NASDAQ:MXWL) has announced it's partnering with Corning (NYSE:GLW) to develop new ultracapacitor technologies.
- The companies declare "Maxwell's expertise in ultracapacitor cell design, manufacturing processes and market-leading capacitive energy storage product designs" will be paired with "Corning's expertise in high-performance materials, analytical capabilities and technology innovations." They aim to address tech challenges related to "energy density, lifetime, operating environment, form factor and cost."
- MXWL +14.9% AH thanks to the partnership, its Q3 beat, and its Q4 guidance: The company expects revenue to be up "as much as" 20%-25% Q/Q. That implies a range of $49.9M-$52M, well above a $44.4M consensus. Strong demand from the Chinese hybrid bus and wind energy markets are contributing to the growth.
Oct. 14, 2014, 10:11 AM
- In spite of its September/October selloff, BofA/Merrill's Wamsi Mohan has downgraded Corning (GLW +0.1%) to Neutral, and cut his target by $4 to $20.
- Mohan cites the potential for slowing TV unit growth (tough World Cup comps and China's delayed HD transition), slower-than-expected 4K TV growth, a lack of a pickup in Gorilla Glass growth (previously hurt by inventory corrections), and a weak yen.
- His 2015 and 2016 EPS estimates have been cut by $0.07 apiece. Corning's Q3 report arrives on Oct. 28.
Oct. 7, 2014, 1:44 PM
- In the wake of GT Advanced's (GTAT +132.5%) bankruptcy filing, the WSJ reports Apple (AAPL -0.2%) chose not to use sapphire cover glass for the iPhone 6 following tests in which sapphire "proved brittle, cracking when phones were dropped from various heights and angles."
- A September Time column noted this potential issue (among others). iPhone Gorilla Glass supplier Corning (GLW -1.1%) must be pleased to see the report.
- The WSJ also reports (not surprisingly) Apple is withholding a final $139M prepayment to GT, which depended on operational targets being hit.
- Susquehanna thinks Apple may take possession of the GT sapphire equipment at Apple's Mesa, AZ facility, given its prepayments ($440M to date) were "structured as secured debt." GT shares are rebounding today, but are still only at $1.85.
- An App Store support page indicates 47% of iOS users are now on iOS 8, up just slightly from 46% as of Sep. 21. Bugs related to mobile connectivity (since fixed) and iCloud Drive could be slowing uptake, as might complaints about Wi-Fi speeds and battery life.
- Digitimes, historically better at reporting on supply chain activity than new product features, reports Apple has two 12.9" iPad prototypes: One is a standard tablet, and the other a 2-in-1 device supporting both iOS and Mac OS.
- Tim Cook famously panned the idea of an integrated tablet/PC. Moreover, iOS and Mac OS currently rely on different CPU architectures - the former uses ARM, and the latter x86.
- Digitimes also reports Apple has boosted iPhone 6 Plus production relative to the iPhone 6, following strong 6 Plus demand. Fiksu's data still shows the iPhone 6 having a 3.8x usage edge over the supply-constrained 6 Plus. However, early Chinese registration data showed a nearly even split between the phones.
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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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