Update January 24, 2017. This morning, January 24, before the open in New York Corning (GLW) reported earnings of 50 cents a share, six cents a share above Wall Street estimates and up 47% from the year-ago quarter. Revenues also beat estimates, rising 6.2% year over year to $2.55 billion versus the $2.49 billion consensus of Wall Street analysts.
On the news Corning climbed 5.69% on the day. Corning, a member of my long-term 50 Stocks portfolio, is now up 7.87% for 2017 to date and has gained 57.08% in the last 12 months,
By segment Gorilla Glass, the high-strength glass used in mobile phones and tablets by companies that include Samsung and Google, was the standout. Revenue for the Speciality Materials unit, which includes Gorilla Glass, grew by a 22% rate led by record volume sales of Gorilla Glass.
Much the rest of Corning’s business came in on expectations. Display Technologies, which supplies glass for flat screen displays, saw core sales of $904 million, about even with sales in this quarter a year ago. For fiscal 2016 demand for Corning’s glass in the LCD market grew at a mid-single digit rate. Glass prices in this segment continued on their long-term downward trend with a price decline that the company called “moderate.” For fiscal 2017 Corning expects price declines to be less than in fiscal 2016 and volume growth be in the mid-teen percentage range.
Revenue in the Optical Communications unit grew by 11% in the quarter. The company projected a pickup in next quarter growth of at least 25%. For the full fiscal 2017 year Corning projected sales to increase by a percentage in the low teens from fiscal 2016.
Last time I visited Corning I wrote that I found the stock fully valued. Despite the beat on earnings, the revenue picture leads me to affirm that belief. Shares should beat the market in 2017 but this isn’t a high growth year for most of Corning’s markets.