Corning’s Preliminary Earnings Overshadowed by Samsung Deal

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Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) reported preliminary third-quarter 2013 results after markets closed Tuesday night. The company said it was doing so to “facilitate communications with investors” regarding agreements the company made with a division of Samsung Electronics. The Samsung deal was the driving force behind the stock’s performance Wednesday.

Corning has agreed to acquire Samsung’s 43% stake in a joint venture that manufactures LCD glass in Korea. Corning also will acquire all outstanding shares from other minority investors. At the completion of these purchases, Samsung will invest $1.9 billion in convertible preferred shares of Corning. Based on Corning’s current number of shares outstanding, Samsung will hold a 7.4% stake in Corning on an as-converted basis. Corning and Samsung also have signed a new 10-year glass supply agreement. The company expects the transactions to close in the first quarter of next year.

Corning reckons that the acquisition will add $2 billion to its annual sales, $350 million in incremental profits before special items and about $500 million to free cash flow.

As for its preliminary quarterly results, the specialty glass and technology products maker expects adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.33 on revenues of $2.1 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.28 on revenues of $2 billion. Expected third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for $0.32 EPS and $2.1 billion in revenues.

Price declines in Corning’s display technologies have moderated and volumes are up slightly. The company said that sales in other segments are in-line with expectations. The company will release final results on October 30.

Corning’s display business includes its Gorilla Glass product, which is used by many smartphone and tablet makers, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Samsung also uses Gorilla Glass in its latest Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Corning shares were up about 10.2% to $16.91 in late morning trading on Wednesday, after posting a new 52-week high of $18.07 earlier in the day. The 52-week low is $10.71. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $16.20 before these announcements.

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