CORNING, N.Y., March 9 -- Corning Inc. Vice Chairman and CFO, James B. Flaws discussed the company's growth opportunities in liquid crystal display (LCD) glass, fiber-to-the-premises and diesel substrates yesterday during the Deutsche Bank Information Technology Hardware Conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in South Beach, Fla.
Flaws said Corning expects better-than-expected demand for glass used in liquid crystal displays, and that the company is on track to meet its first quarter earnings targets. He repeated its forecast for a quarterly profit of 4 cents to 5 cents a share before one-time items, on revenue of $770 million to $830 million.
Corning said it now expects sequential volume growth of LCD glass to be more than 10 percent in the first quarter, versus its previous guidance of 5 percent to 10 percent. The company still expects LCD pricing in the first quarter to remain stable.
Corning's proprietary and scalable fusion technology enables the company to supply the growing number of customers installing fifth- and sixth-generation LCD fabrication lines. Corning was the first to introduce a Gen 5 substrate and, in June 2003, became the first commercial supplier of Gen 6 substrates. Further, Corning is developing Gen 7 capability and expects it will reach the market in the second half of 2004.
Flaws also said the company is seeing slightly weaker optical fiber volume in North America and now expects first-quarter volume to decline sequentially by 10 percent to 15 percent. It had previously said that optical fiber volume would be stable to down 5 percent.
"While we are getting off to a slower start than expected in fiber, we still expect optical fiber volume for the full year to be stable with last year," Flaws said. "The good news here is that fiber pricing continues to moderate and is within our original expectations for the quarter."
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