Gorilla Glass Sales Going Bananas at Corning
CORNING, N.Y., Nov. 3, 2010 — A bright spot in Corning's weak third-quarter sales report was news that its Specialty Materials unit is still going strong — up 77 percent year over year — thanks largely to robust sales of its Gorilla® glass.
Third-quarter sales for the Specialty Materials segment were $159 million, with sales of Gorilla glass, used as the display glass in an ever-growing list of handheld consumer electronic devices, driving much of the increase: Gorilla glass sales were up 26 percent over the second quarter. Total segment sales for the third quarter were $1.6 billion, down 6 percent from last quarter but up 8 percent year over year.
The company's third quarter net income was $785 million, down 14 percent from last quarter but up 22 percent year over year. Those results and earnings of 50 cents a share narrowly missed analyst estimates.
“Corning Gorilla glass sales for IT and handheld devices are exceeding our expectations, and we anticipate starting shipments of TV cover glass this quarter," said company vice chairman and CFO James B. Flaws.
Corning's Gorilla glass is now used by 23 major brands as a cover material for handheld and laptop applications. (Photo: Corning)
Sales in Corning's Display Technologies segment were down 23 percent from last quarter and down 5 percent year over year, even though the segment benefited from a favorable exchange rate versus the Japanese yen. Samsung Corning Precision Materials’ volume was up 5 percent on a quarterly basis and 14 percent year over year.
Environmental Technologies segment sales were $208 million, a 13 percent quarterly and 25 percent year-over-year improvement. The company saw continued growth in both automotive and diesel emissions control products.
Corning also said it will discontinue development and commercialization of synthetic green lasers. Given the rapid development of native green technology, the company concluded that the market for synthetic green lasers is limited.
Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Corning said it expects glass demand worldwide to be flat to down slightly quarter to quarter.
Corning said it expects fourth-quarter Telecommunications segment sales to experience a seasonal decline of about 10 percent, while the Environmental Technologies segment sales are expected to be similar to those in the third quarter as growth in diesel offsets normal seasonal declines in the auto business. Specialty Materials segment sales are expected to grow 10 to 20 percent in the fourth quarter, driven primarily by continued strength in Gorilla glass sales. Life Sciences segment sales are expected to be down slightly due to seasonal adjustments.
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