Corning: Through the Looking Glass(works)

Corning just reported earnings today:

Specialty glass maker Corning Inc reported that net earnings for the second quarter grew to $496 million or $0.36 per share from $169 million or $0.11 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, core earnings for the quarter were $0.38 per share, compared to $0.34 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.37 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Net sales for the quarter declined 6 percent to $2.34 billion from $2.48 billion in the same quarter last year. Core net sales were $2.517 billion, compared to $2.512 billion last year. Wall Street expected revenues of $2.54 billion.

Read the whole thing at…

I own Corning and think of it as a relatively safe investment with solid fundamentals and growth prospects. I’m trying to evaluate my companies based on Saul’s methods here though, and here how its numbers look (to my amateur eyes):

Core Sales (billions)		Q1		Q2		Q3		Q4
2012				1.820		1.908		2.038		2.146
2013				1.814		2.021		2.108		2.005
2014				2.326		2.512		2.649		2.602
2015				2.430		2.517

Core Earnings (per share)	Q1		Q2		Q3		Q4
2012				0.30		0.31		0.34		0.34
2013				0.30		0.32		0.33		0.29
2014				0.29		0.34		0.40		0.45	
2015				0.35		0.38

Core Sales Growth (billions)
2014 Q2 TTM Core Sales = 8.951
2015 Q2 TTM Core Sales = 10.198
Year Over Year Core Sales Growth = 13.93%

Core Earnings Growth (per share)
2014 Q2 TTM Earnings = 1.25
2015 Q2 TTM Earnings = 1.58
Year Over Year EPS Growth = 26.4%

P/E = (Check Current Price) 18.16/1.58 = 11.49

1YPEG = 11.49/26.4 = 0.435

I obviously really like what I see here, but next quarter they start coming up against some tougher comps, so we’ll see how they look then.

My bullish case for Corning consists of five parts:

1) Pipeline loaded with potential. There are a ton of products coming out that are just loaded with growth potential from Corning.

  • 4K ultra-HD sets that have much larger screens than HD TVs.

  • Anti-microbial glass which prevents bacteria from attaching to the glass surface. Think elevator buttons, railings, restaurant tables and even hospital/doctor’s offices’ walls.

  • Fast growing optical fiber business. Sales jumped 18% in 2015 1Q.

  • Willow glass. Paper-thin glass that can wrap and bend without breaking. Applications include solar panels and OLED lights.

  • Project Phire. Shatterproof like Gorilla Glass, scratch-resistant like sapphire.

  • The greatest potential of all? That would be new and improved windshield glass for automobiles. If car manufacturers need to keep coming up with ways to meet stricter and stricter fuel standards in the future, don’t rule out a few possibly turning to Corning for a stronger and much lighter glass to use in windshields.

2) Corning’s P/E is currently below its ten year average of 14.

3) Corning is sitting on a about $1.50 per share in cash.

4) Nice dividend with room for growth. Current yield is 2.3%. CEO Wendell Weeks has promised it will continue to grow.

5) Since 2011, Corning has bought back 12% of its shares outstanding. More buybacks are planned.

Does anybody else here own Corning or have additional thoughts? I would greatly appreciate any feedback as I try to continue to evaluate and analyze my holdings better. Thanks.

  • Matt

Looks interesting Matt. I might take a further look. Thanks,

Thanks Saul.

One more thing I wished to highlight: If it wasn’t for foreign exchange headwinds, their numbers would look even better. This is something that has been hindering them (along with a host of other companies obviously) for several quarters now. From Motley Fool’s Steve Symington:

Corning’s results would have been even stronger had it not been for ongoing foreign exchange headwinds, excluding the impact of which core quarterly sales, earnings, and earnings per share would have risen 3%, 11%, and 15%, respectively.


  • Matt


I’ve owned Corning for a long time. I added to my position last week. (I’ve followed your posts on one of the MF services!) As some of the articles you posted mentioned, in addition to it being safe and steady producer, historically they’re a proven innovator. They are more than gorilla glass. Their moat in fiber optics has strengthened recently by acquisitions: TRM, Samsung Fiber and Cable, and iBwave. If you’re bullish on IOT/IOEverything stocks like INFN/ANET – there should be continued growth there. If they can break into the auto industry that would be a game-changer.



I’m anxious to hear what you have to say about this. With a current P/E of about 11 I can see the stock price go up just by virtue of a willingness on behalf of investors to reward future earnings with a more generous ratio.

But oddly, when you look at a historical price chart, Corning just doesn’t look very exciting. An all-time high of $25 was hit last February. My impression is that for some reason their performance doesn’t seem to translate to higher stock price. But, I admit, I’ve not looked at this company beyond what’s been posted in this thread.



It’s all time was over 100 in the .com bubble (2000). Fiber Optics, Global Crossing, Lucent, JDSU …



Sorry Bill - yes I confess I only looked back 5 years. I didn’t think anything beyond that was relevant - but I assume you are correct.

I was updating my quarterly spreadsheet, when I noticed Corning reported core eps to be 0.38 vs 0.34 in Q2 2014. However, both the Q2 release and my records (as do yours) show they reported core eps of 0.37 in Q2 2014.

Is this just a typo in the release? Or am I missing something?

Link to release:…


1 Like

But oddly, when you look at a historical price chart, Corning just doesn’t look very exciting. An all-time high of $25 was hit last February. My impression is that for some reason their performance doesn’t seem to translate to higher stock price.

Brittlerock, this is my biggest question surrounding Corning as well. Frankly, I don’t get it. It makes me think sometimes that I’m missing something. It’s one of the reasons why I posted on this board, to get great feedback.

Nick, I’m honestly not sure? I’ll try to look into it. It’s possible they updated their numbers after further review? Not sure.

  • Matt