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Corning Inc. (GLW - Analyst Report) is set to report first quarter 2013 results on Apr 24. Last quarter, it posted a 3.03% positive surprise. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors this Past Quarter

Corning’s sales growth rate in the first quarter of 2013 was higher than the fourth quarter as well as the year-ago period driven by improvement in all the revenue segments, except the Environmental Technologies segment, which was impacted by weakness in light duty diesel products. However, margin expansion was limited by the significant decline in LCD glass prices.

Glass price declines are expected to moderate whereas glass volumes are expected to increase going forward, which indicates improvement in Corning’s largest and most important Display Technologies segment. Additionally, the company saw significantly higher demand for Gorilla Glass in the last quarter, which is quite encouraging and should help absorb costs at the new Chinese facility.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Corning will beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 or #3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP:  The Most Accurate estimate stands at 23 cents while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is higher at 26 cents. That is a difference of -11.54%.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Corning’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) when combined with a negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and #5 (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:  

Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT - Analyst Report), Earnings ESP of +7.69% and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)

Intersil Corp. (ISIL - Snapshot Report), Earnings ESP of +62.5% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

Amazon.com (AMZN - Analyst Report), Earnings ESP of +100.0% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

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