CORNING, N.Y., Dec. 2 -- Corning Inc. and Hitachi-Maxell Ltd. announced today they have entered into a nonexclusive licensing agreement that will allow Hitachi-Maxell to use Corning’s precision molded optics (PMO) patents in the manufacture of molded aspheric glass lenses, such as those used in digital cameras and camera phones. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Hitachi Maxell, based in Tokyo, makes audio and video storage media, computer storage media and batteries and makes coil-on-chip RFID (radio frequency identification) semiconductor devices.
The licensing agreement was facilitated by BTG, an intellectual property and technology commercialization company that represents Corning in its ongoing program to license its PMO portfolio. Several companies -- including Fuji, Tamron, NSG and others -- have already taken licenses to Corning's PMO technology.
LCD glass sales weaken
Corning also announced that its executives are speaking with financial analysts and investors at the Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) Technology Conference today in Scottsdale, Ariz. James B. Flaws, vice chairman and CFO, will review the company's primary growth opportunities in the display and fiber-to-the-premises (fttp) markets and will provide an update on Corning's fourth-quarter outlook.
Flaws said the company's fourth-quarter guidance is unchanged since October -- $950 million to $1 billion in revenues and earnings per share between $0.10 and $0.12 -- but its shipments of liquid crystal display (LCD) glass in Taiwan weakened in November.
"We now believe our fourth quarter sequential LCD volume growth will be up 3 percent at best and could be flat with the previous quarter," Flaws said. "This weakness in Taiwan is not uniform among customers, and we are reallocating some glass to other customers. However, the lower fourth-quarter volume does indicate that we are no longer sold out of manufacturing capacity. Shipments of LCD glass at our equity venture, Samsung Corning Precision Glass Co. Ltd. in Korea, continue to be strong, with expected sequential volume growth in the low teens. Corning continues to expect to finish 2004 with LCD volume up 65 percent compared to the prior year."
Flaws said Corning's Telecommunications segment's quarter-to-date sales are stronger than expected, and fourth-quarter fiber volume could be down only 5 percent to 10 percent, compared to previous guidance of a 10 percent to 20 percent decline.
Corning said it continues to be encouraged by the recent US Federal Communications Commission regulatory announcements regarding fttp or home architectures and the positive reactions by the regional Bell operating companies in North America. Verizon's plans to extend its fttp project to 2 million homes next year -- along with SBC's decision to use fiber in its fiber-to-the-node broadband project -- are encouraging for the industry, the company said.
Corning will also announce a $25 million capacity addition in its Environmental Technologies segment for diesel products. Flaws said, "We are gaining traction with customers in this growth opportunity and want to be sure that we have adequate capacity to meet their future needs."
For more information, visit: www.corning.com