Corning Inc. (GLW), the maker of glass for flat-panel televisions, phones and tablets, rose as much as 6.1 percent in premarket trading after fourth-quarter profit and sales exceeded analysts’ estimates.
The Corning, New York-based company posted earnings of 34 cents a share last quarter, excluding some items. Sales climbed 14 percent to $2.15 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of 32 cents and revenue of $2.06 billion on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Corning’s Gorilla Glass, the damage-resistant material used in smartphones and tablets, topped $1 billion in sales last year for the first time. Larger televisions also have helped improve the company’s performance after a slump in liquid-crystal- display prices.
“It’s a strong sign that’s we’re beginning to come to the end of these LCD price declines, which we believe will be moderate all year,” Chief Financial Officer Jim Flaws said in an interview. “We’re seeing the large-size televisions grow very nicely.”
The stock climbed as high as $12.89 in early trading. The shares had dropped 2.8 percent last year.
Corning still faces shrinking profit margins amid a competitive market and sluggish economy. Its gross margin was 42 percent last quarter, compared with 44 percent a year earlier.
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