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Corning (GLW) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Expects Growth to Continue

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Corning Incorporated (GLW - Free Report) reported solid first-quarter 2021 results, wherein both the top line and the bottom line beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Net Income

On a GAAP basis, net income in the March quarter was $599 million or 67 cents per share against net loss of $96 million or loss of 16 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. The improvement primarily resulted from an operating income and a gain associated with the company’s currency-hedging contracts.

Core net income came in at $402 million or 45 cents per share compared with $177 million or 20 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents.

Corning Incorporated Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Corning Incorporated Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Corning Incorporated price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Corning Incorporated Quote

Revenues

Quarterly GAAP net sales increased 37.6% year over year to $3,290 million. Sales at all segments grew by double-digit percentages.

Core sales grew to $3,263 million from $2,529 million in the year-ago quarter. The top line surpassed the consensus estimate of $3,128 million.

Segment Results

Net sales in Optical Communications increased 18.5% year over year to $937 million. Sales grew in both enterprise and carrier networks, driven by the accelerated pace of data center builds, network capacity expansion and fiber-to-the-home projects. The segment’s net income was $111 million compared with $29 million in the prior-year quarter.

Net sales in Display Technologies were $863 million compared with $751 million in the prior-year quarter, led by an increase in glass volume. The segment’s net income was $213 million compared with $152 million in the year-ago quarter.

Specialty Materials’ net sales were up 28.1% year over year to $451 million. The rise was driven by solid demand for premium cover materials, strength in the IT market and the growing importance of semiconductor-related optical glasses. The segment’s net income was $91 million compared with $51 million in the prior-year quarter.

Environmental Technologies’ net sales grew 37.8% year over year to $441 million. This was a result of improving markets and more Corning content. Notably, diesel sales were up 44% driven by demand in China and North America. The segment’s net income was $74 million compared with $35 million in the prior-year quarter.

Net sales in Life Sciences were up 16.3% year over year to $300 million. This reflects strong demand across all regions, ongoing recovery in academic and pharmaceutical research labs and solid demand for bioproduction products and diagnostic-related consumables. The segment’s net income improved to $48 million from $38 million reported a year ago.

Other Details

Cost of sales increased 16.6% year over year to $2,134 million. Gross profit improved to $1,156 million from $561 million. Core gross profit was $1,167 million compared with $844 million recorded in the prior-year quarter, with respective margins of 35.8% and 33.4%. Operating income was $502 million, which improved from a loss of $121 million.

Cash Flow & Liquidity

During the first quarter of 2021, Corning generated $723 million of net cash from operating activities compared with $248 million in the prior-year quarter.

As of Mar 31, 2021, the company had $2,868 million in cash and cash equivalents with $7,650 million of long-term debt compared with the respective tallies of $2,672 million and $7,816 million at the end of the previous quarter.

Q2 Outlook

For the second quarter, Corning expects core sales in the range of $3.3 billion to $3.5 billion. Core earnings per share are estimated between 49 cents and 53 cents. The company anticipates strong demand and positive momentum across its businesses to continue throughout 2021.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Corning currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has a VGM Score of B.

Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Micron Technology (MU - Free Report) , Western Digital Corporation (WDC - Free Report) and Vicor Corporation (VICR - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Micron delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.5%, on average.

Western Digital delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 10.9%, on average.    

Vicor delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 80.6%, on average.

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